Nine-year-old Leukemia survivor, Nixon Brown was the proudest boy in New Zealand this August when he handed a giant cheque for almost $25,000 to the Child Cancer Foundation.
The foundation had supported Nixon and his family throughout his illness, and he was overjoyed to support them in return.
In June, Nixon had invited every trail bike rider in New Zealand to join him in a ride with New Zealand Motorcycle Hall of Fame legend Sean Clarke.
It was a fund-raising day for Nixon’s chosen charity, as part of his uncle’s participation in Komatsu’s Live Your Dream program, an opportunity for employees to give back to their local communities.
The machinery giant gave $10,000 to each worthy idea and Nixon’s uncle Spencer Raynel, the company’s Regional Customer Service Manager in the Waikato region nominated Nixon and the Child Cancer Foundation.
Instead of applying the Komatsu money to conducting the event, Spencer and Sean Clarke, New Zealand’s 17-times national enduro-champion, set out to find other support from sponsors, and sought an entry fee of $40 from every adult rider, and $25 from every rider under 15.
The response was overwhelming.
“We made $24,290.18, including Komatsu’s contribution “Spencer said, as proud of the result as he is of young Nixon.
Almost 250 riders turned up in a private forest north of Taupo for a day of off- road motorcycle enjoyment, enhanced when New Zealand’s world MX2 Champion Ben Townley, who made a surprise appearance.
Townley took Nixon, already a keen and competent rider, for two 10-kilometer laps in the forest and came back impressed with the youngster’s prowess and stamina.
Nixon, the youngest of his family’s three boys was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was just three and his family relied on the help of the Child Cancer Foundation throughout his treatment.
His treatment plan lasted three and a half years, and he is now almost three years post treatment.
One of his great delights was riding his trail bike, a KTM 65, with his uncle Spencer.
“The Komatsu Live Your Dream program was an opportunity for us to give back, “Spencer said.
“Every week three New Zealand children are diagnosed with cancer and the Foundation supports more than 1,700 families.”
An even dozen companies, most associated with Komatsu , and many more individuals supported Nixon’s ride and Spencer was keen each should be thanked – Forest Trail Events ( Sean and Adel Clarke) , C&R Developments, Smythes Quarry , TWR Media, Motor Works Hawkes Bay , Stellar Recruitment , Blackwood Yamaha , Niel Thistlwaite of NEMS Medical , Edwards Transport, Lubricants New Zealand , Pirtek, and Mega Fluid Solutions.
“And, of course Ben Townley,” Spencer said.
“Nixon was totally exhausted at the end of the day – but on the way home he would just not fall asleep. That was a mark of how good the day was.”