Golf Tournament to benefit Carlie Towns – March 22nd 2017 in Sydney

carlie towns golf tournament benefit

Many of you from the triathlon community will fondly remember Ched Towns.

For those that don’t know Ched, Ched was a larger than life Aussie legend.

He was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, Ched – a promising Rugby League player went progressively blind. During the early phases of this dreadful disease Ched became bitter and twisted almost losing his marriage in the process, however following a trip to the UK for some radical (but ultimately unsuccessful) treatment, he returned to Australia a changed and accepting man. Slowly but surely his world changed.

Ched became a highly in demand motivational speaker both in Australia and internationally, he could spin a yarn and have an audience hanging on every word – he’d found his calling.

Ched was also a doer – with less than 2% vision (he could distinguish night from day) Ched, Judy and his kids Kane and Carlie attacked life with a vengeance. Ched trekked the Kokoda trail, scuba dived and jumped out of planes – and had a funny story to tell about each adventure.

Ched and my paths first crossed in 1990 – I won the Australian Ironman triathlon and Ched took all the media exposure and accolades on the day and I took the piss out of him for doing so – forging a deep friendship with he and his family that lasts til this day.

Ched had ambitions of becoming the first “blinky” to summit Mount Everest and some 17 years ago whilst preparing for that quest suffered an embolism on Mera Peak and passed away – devastating all that knew him.

Ched passed believing that the disease which afflicted him (Retinitis Pigmentosa or simply RP) died with him – at least in relation to his family. The disease is genetically transferred by the female to the male offspring and Kane was cleared early on.

In a cruel twist of fate I was contacted by Carlie about a month ago and informed that she had contracted the disease and was progressively losing her sight at 40 years of age, a mum of two young kids and single.

Carlie didn’t call me to whinge about her predicament, she called me because the 15 year old kid inside the 40 year old woman, missed her dad and needed to chat to someone who knew (and loved him). She just needed an emotional cuddle from “someone who knew”.

My heart broke with that phone call and together with a group of like-minded people (John, Louise, Ron, Andrew, Tony, Judy, Kane to mention but a few) we’ve swung into action to raise much needed funds to help support Carlie and her kids through this next phase of her life as she learns to cope with this incredibly cruel development.

If you’re based in Sydney, Australia mark March 22nd off in your diary and join us at a golf day for Carlie - if you’re one of the triathlon community or friends or strangers contact me direct via DM on Twitter with any donation you wish to offer – EVERYTHING will be greatly appreciated.

Life is cruel sometimes but how we deal with such cruelty defines us as human-beings.

Please share this among your friends.
Rod Cedaro