SUPER CAUSE: Michael Christensen (pictured) and Mick Irwin founded the Dunga Derby in 2015 as a legacy for Michael and Amanda's son, Cooper, who died of a rare brain tumour.
SUPER CAUSE: Michael Christensen (pictured) and Mick Irwin founded the Dunga Derby in 2015 as a legacy for Michael and Amanda's son, Cooper, who died of a rare brain tumour. contributed

Fraser Coast charity spreads its wings to Sunshine Coast

AFTER major success on the Fraser Coast for the past four years, the Dunga Derby has expanded to the Sunshine Coast to help individuals and families facing life's toughest challenges.

The fundraising event was originally started after Cooper Christensen - a happy, outgoing four-year-old Hervey Bay boy - was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, an extremely rare paediatric brain tumour, in October 2013.

His dad Michael Christensen said the rare case was inoperable and left patients with no chance of survival.

"Our world was turned upside down," he said.

"He was given 9-12 months to live, which for a parent was just devastating."

Hervey Bay's Mick Irwin approached his mate with the idea of a car rally, a way to help Cooper's legacy live on and to help others in similar situations.

"Cooper obviously loved Captain America and the Avengers and said 'that would be great, let's do it'," Mr Christensen said.

The Dunga Derby was brought to life that year, a four-day event that took participants on a cross-country journey around the state.

Cooper died when he was six, just three weeks before the first event in August 2015.

The Dunga Derby is the main fundraising event for the Rally for a Cause charity, which helps individuals and families dealing with unexpected costs, bills and emotional support as a result of life limiting medical conditions or circumstances beyond their control.

The inaugural 2019 Sunshine Coast Dunga Derby will take teams on an unknown Coast to Country route.

Like the Fraser Coast, Sunshine Coast Dunga Derby will be supported by locals, and will have on board local mechanics, tow trucks and a back-up plan if any car breaks down along the way.

Funds raised will go back to the Sunshine Coast community.

The Dunga Derby Sunshine Coast is expected to leave Aussie World on October 17.

The fifth annual Dunga Derby Fraser Coast will leave the Hervey Bay RSL carpark on August 1.

Meet some of the Dungas and show your support this Saturday at the Maryborough Mary Poppins Street Party, or at the dirt track Sunday from 10am at the Maryborough Speedway as they show off their skills at The Dunga Shake Down: Khanacross for Dungas.

Watch Creek to Coast on July 6 for details of the event and what the participants got up to on the rally.