Arlene 'Warrior Woman' & Moff

In case you missed it, we recently introduced you to Anthony Moffatt aka ‘Moff’ who was on a fund raising bike ride for brain cancer research, cycling all the way from Tidal River at the very bottom of the Australian mainland all the way up to Cape Tribulation in far north QLD…

And… he succeeded! Of course Moff couldn’t have completed this epic 4,800 kilometre adventure without his most passionate supporter – his wife Arlene – Kaye caught up with her to hear her part in this incredible story…

 Prefer to read? - Full transcript here



Also check out Moff's post event Success Story here!

TRANSCRIPT: 

KAYE:
Arlene Moffatt… one woman superstar, who's travelled the length of Australia helping her husband on a mammoth trip. Arlene, you made the trip. How are you feeling now that we're in Hervey Bay and the worst is over?

Arlene Moffat & Kaye BrowneARLENE:
Very relieved. I've got tears in my eyes thinking about it…. Yeah, it was a long trip, watching him ride every day, whether it's in the rain or doesn't matter whether it's sunshine, but the trucks on the side of the road, that was very scary. Very, very scary. Just thinking every day, please God, let him make it home, or home to the caravan.

So, yeah, it was a big relief when it was over.

KAYE:
So just going back a step because we've jumped in right at the deep end, but in a nutshell, what is it that your husband set out to do and what was your role in doing it, too?

ARLENE:
Well, he'd always wanted to do the big bike ride from years ago when we did the Tasmanian bike ride, and it was just such a great experience just riding along.  But this has been a whole different level in that I was the support vehicle, I was the cook, lawn-dress, bottle washer, driver, everything.


And I just wanted to make sure that every day when he got home or came in off his bike, that there was something for him to eat and he was looked after, because he would just put on such a massive challenge, even though I know that's typical of him because he's so determined.

It was such a big effort, even though we sort of played it down a lot…

KAYE:
And you're still playing it down!.. What is this effort? How long was the journey and what did it involve every single day.

ARLENE:
It's interesting because to start with, you sort of thinking, oh yeah, this will be easy.
One hundred and 150Km a day driving. He's on his bike, which takes him a fair bit longer.
So I'll drive and I'll get there and I'll go for my hours walk and I'll do this and the other.

No, that's not what actually happens.

You've still got to fit in, even just the basic grocery shopping, you've got to find the Coles or Safeway or whatever and buy what you need and then make sure it's all prepared.

It sort of sounds a bit old fashioned in that the wife has got to keep the home hearth warm, but that’s what it was because he needs that support and nourishment and everything every day because his body is getting fatigued and you’ve got to keep it going as well as the mental support.

You just want him to feel he knows when he gets in, there's not going to be a big shemozzle happening and nothing's done.

KAYE:
A lot of times he'd get in after dark!

Moff arriving after dark!ARLENE:
He did a lot of times and I followed him often after dark, and other times I had to drive ahead to make sure I was in before the office closed and so forth, because G’Day Parks were sponsoring us as we had vouchers and they have to be given in to pay for your site.

So I wanted to be there before the office closed, but sometimes I was behind him and in a lot of ways it was good in the dark because he had so many flashing lights, you could really see him from a long way away.

But then if I wasn't there, it was really scary thinking, I hope the batteries haven't run out and I hope the trucks really see him.  The caravans are all off the road by 3pm basically. You don't see many after that, but there's a lot of trucks and they're pretty scary. They go fast and they're big.

KAYE:
What was the scariest part?

ARLENE:
Ummm … the night which I think he's spoken about in another interview where he got to a National Park and he was on his mountain bike and he talks about the dog chasing him.  But the actual scariest bit for me was he actually didn't get into 10:30pm, and it was raining and wet and I'm just sitting on his Strava (https://www.strava.com/mobile ) watching his dot moving very very slowly.

Strava location monitoring appTaking screenshots of it so if I had to ring the SES, they actually had a screenshot of the last place I saw him. And I giggle and laugh about that now but at the time I hadn't even eaten my dinner.
I just kept my eyes on this screen. I felt like screen time for a ten year old, just watching and watching and watching, making sure that dot kept moving. So very slowly but surely.

KAYE:
Yeah, very nerve-wracking… What did you do for fun to cope with all of this nerve-wracking stuff happening?

ARLENE:
We didn't actually get to do much fun on the ride up, unfortunately. My fun was going to Coles and selecting nice fruit and vegetables to have for dinner. We did have a few days off, but they were usually weather dependent because if the weather was bad, he couldn't ride, so we didn't.

But we did actually go caving at the Capricorn Caves, which was brilliant. That was on my bucket list from some years ago… I think I saw it on the Today Show or Ernie Dingo Show, some show and that's like, I want to go there. They look amazing, so that was one of the highlights.

And then we did some little bike rides. We visited his sister and brother…  well his brother wasn’t there, but we visited his home and some other friends in Newcastle, Graham and Kath. So we sort of caught up with some friends.

KAYE:
And now you're on the way home. You've done a great job. Between you of raising money for research into brain cancer, a very specific cancer, how often does that word cancer play on your mind, knowing that it might come back for Moff?

ARLENE:
Yeah, both of us are very good at pretending it’s not happening. I think it's our key.

Moff on the last day of the trip!!On the day we find out it's starting to grow again, then we'll deal with it, because I think we've always been sort of children at heart. I always say I've never grown up and I always think, one day I'll work out what I want to do with my life when I grow up, but I'm 59 in a couple of weeks’ time and I still haven't grown up because I think we're still taking that real childlike thing of a ’positive outlook’… I think I'll just take it as a positive outlook, that we don't need to deal with it until it starts growing, because we're dealing with it, with making sure he eats properly, and we eat properly and we exercise and we keep our health as good as we can and hopefully that will stop it growing and then one day the reality-check might come.

Or it may not. Hopefully it won't ever come. But I know deep down it will come one day and then we're all going to have to deal with it. But we'll just sort of pretend it's not happening at the moment and live life as full as we can until that horrible day comes.

KAYE:
You're living life twice as vibrantly as just about anybody I know. Tell us about what you did yesterday just off Hervey Bay in Queensland…

ARLENE:
Oh … a fantastic day!... We went out with a group called Tasman Venture and it was called the Remote Fraser Island Tour, and it was a combination of whale watching and we got to see the whales. It was absolutely magnificent.

They even had a rope off the back of the boat and you went off and held the rope and literally the whale was one metre from the end of my arm. It was magical.

And we went on kayaks, we went tubing, which is something we love doing anyway, but we actually had someone else driving it and we went snorkelling, which is a favourite… we're both avid divers, but Moff is not allowed to dive anymore because of his condition with his epilepsy, but he can still snorkel, so that's all right.

So we did the kayaking in the mangroves, snorkelling whale watching and in the water with the whales, they came to the boat. I’m very against that animal persuasion, whatever the word is, where they encourage and entice animals to come to you,           these whales literally came to the boat to see us, I think, because they're mammals, they’re intelligent and they knew that there was no threat and they just wanted to check us out as much as we wanted to check them out. I think they spectacular.

KAYE:
I think animals see pictures of people's heads, so I’m pretty sure the whales knew that you and Moff were very special.

Last question, what's next? You must have some crazy bucket list.

ARLENE:
There's a very very long and varied bucket list, which some of it now unfortunately, we may not get to do, but we'll do our best. But luckily, we get home on a Thursday night and we take off to go skiing on Sunday. Going up to Mount Buller (VIC) to see my sister who works up there, and her son goes to school up there. He's in primary school.

And we'll get up to see her for five days, which will be awesome. So we're going from the heat to the snow. Luckily we're not in Melbourne’s rain in between, because I don't want to be in Melbourne at the moment. It's awful.

KAYE:
Well, I think you're a huge inspiration. You've raised money, over $25,000 for research.

ARLENE:
Yes nearly $31,000 I think! We haven't checked it for a couple of days. We were out on the boat all day yesterday.

KAYE:
And if anyone wants to still donate what do they do?

ARLENE:
River To Reef Fundraising bike ride on Facebook… and that has a link on it that takes you to the Alfred Foundation’s website, where you can make a donation.

All the money goes straight to them, none to us. So you can be sure that all the money goes to them, which is our aim. We don't want the money, we want them to have it.

KAYE:
I think you're amazing. You've paid your own way to do a fundraiser, which is pretty darned amazing. It's probably not cheap to travel all the way up and down.

ARLENE:
We had the good help of G’day parks. They gave us vouchers to pay for our accommodation in as many places as their parks are. And they've all been wonderful actually, their parks are very good, so I can recommend them.

KAYE:
Well I can also add in here that Arlene is a brilliant driver. We first met her when she was backing in to a very tiny spot next to us and doing a great job.


ARLENE:
It was yeah, I've definitely learned to reverse the caravan. (laughs)

KAYE:
It could be a new side gig. You could do that and raise money for the cancer research.

ARLENE:
Ha ha yes… teaching others to back the caravan in their spot. Unfortunately, there's some yellow paint on the back of the van that proves that the petrol station is not quite as wide…


KAYE:
Sshh … I won't tell anyone if you don't!!

ARLENE:
There’s one little scrape of the van…

KAYE:
Shhh .. your secret’s safe with us ok?

ARLENE:
Thank you. (laughing…)

___________________________________________________________________

Moff's Success Story here!
https://mylifemystory.me/podcasts/river-2-reef-success-story-with-anthony-moff-moffatt

Moff's River To Reef Facebook page here:
https://www.facebook.com/River-to-Reef-Fundraising-Bike-Ride-114781857873984 

NEVER TOO LATE TO DONATE:! 
https://fundraising.alfredfoundation.org.au/rivertoreef 


© 2022 - Kaye Browne

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