John Stockwell, who has Parkinson's disease, with support group co-ordinator Jamie de Salis.
John Stockwell, who has Parkinson's disease, with support group co-ordinator Jamie de Salis. Contributed

Moving message from man on Ride of his Life

BUCK Owens' song, Cigarettes, and Whiskey and Wild Wild Women is an old favourite with country music fans but Cool Country's rendition took it to another level.

Complete with the resident flappers, the song was a great hit at their end-of-month open day concert last weekend.

At these sessions artists of all ages are encouraged to develop their skills by performing and sharing their music.

Cool Country not only provides an outlet for music, but raises much-needed funds for charitable organisations in the area.

The money stays within the community and is appreciated by those who receive it.

Parkinson's support group in Hervey Bay is one such organisation.

There is a man with Parkinson's riding a 1998 ST2 Ducati around Australia one-and-a-half times to raise money and awareness for Parkinson's SA.

His name is John Stockwell and he is on the Ride of his Life for Parkinson's and said he just had to do it.

"I'm a very passionate motorcyclist through and through and ride every day but Parkinson's creeps up on you and I noticed my gear changing foot wasn't responding to my brain," Mr Stockwell said.

"I knew that sooner or later I won't be able to ride so I decided on the spur of the moment to do this.

"I'm an ordinary bloke doing something I am passionate about and if I didn't do it I would regret it.

"Everyone has been very supportive along the way and I find it very humbling.

"I get a chance to talk to people and make them aware how insidious this disease is."

Cool Country welcomed John to Hervey Bay and gave him the opportunity to talk about his travels and accept a $250 donation to go to Hervey Bay Parkinson's Support Group.