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This Sunday, August 6, 62-year-old Colin Chandler of Samford, will push himself up ‘The Goat Track’ – a three kilometre, steep climb on a dirt road up the side of Mt Nebo – in and behind his wheelchair, to raise vital funds for the MS Foundation.

Colin was diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS in May 2015. He will ‘climb’ the long steep walk up a narrow, unsurfaced road in State Forest north west of Brisbane to raise money for MS research.

Almost thereJoining him is a group of volunteers, fundraisers and well-wishers, a number of dogs, a goat, a choir and a coffee cart, Colin says the reason why he wants to do this is that one of the greatest killers of people with debilitating diseases, like Multiple Sclerosis, is a loss of hope.

“While your brain is still firing, your body deteriorates. People call you disabled,” Colin says. “It’s an incredibly hard thing to go from being an able-bodied, independent adult to being considered incapable. Your sense of self, your hopes and dreams. Your hope – it all gets turned on its head. Sometimes, it seems impossible. But it’s not. Hence Goat Track Madness. I want to show people that nothing is impossible. Really dumb probably, but not impossible.”

Colin is no stranger to the improbable, having been given a week to live with acute Crohns Disease in 1986, which developed into Peritonitis and Septicaemia. At that time, Colin weighed a slight 47kg (at 6’2” tall). Prior to surgery where surgeons removed the majority of colon and ileum, they had declared he had a week left to live and that he should prepare himself and his family for the worst.

Thirty-two years later, Colin has achieved much in his life. He has started several market-leading telecommunications and tech start-ups worldwide, been acknowledged as an entrepreneur and innovator globally, has delivered keynote addresses at major national universities, consulted to government and global business leaders and worked with the CSIRO to develop ground-breaking technology.

He is now attempting to initiate a government supported mentoring program to assist people with MS and other physically impairing diseases in creating their own small online businesses utilising voice recognition, dictation software and other industry-leading technology. He hopes this will provide those suffering with not only a sense of purpose and token income, but also, most importantly, with hope.

Outside of his business pursuits, Colin has always been an avid participant of the arts, surfing and cultural past-times such as motorbike riding, camping and writing. He is a longstanding practitioner of Zen meditation, has been surfing since 1971, painting since 1973, is a sculptor and plays several different instruments including ukulele, mandolin, banjo, guitar and the harmonica. While his love of motorbikes, fast waves and larrikin pranks have needed moderation due to the MS, his playful joie de vivre remains, most recently manifesting itself in the MS Walk (Up the Goat Track) Fundraiser, where he hopes to raise $20,000 for MS research.

With no known cure, MS affects more than 23,000 in Australia and more than two million diagnosed worldwide. His target of $20,000 will assist the MS Society in providing a wide range of support services and research for MS sufferers throughout Queensland. You can help Colin reach his target by donating online at www.msqldevents.com.au/fundraise/champion/team-cure-ms/ColinChandler

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