Town helps fight Zaine's battle
KANDANGA'S youngest hero, Zaine Fox, doesn't really like soccer anymore, not since cancer stole his mobility.
Instead, the brave 12 year old is more into motorbikes these days - particularly the extreme Red Bull Nitro Circus performances he saw in Sydney last weekend, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
One of his big heroes is Nitro Circus performer Aaron "Wheels" Fotherington, who says "I don't sit in a wheel chair, I ride one!"
Wheels put on a special performance for Zaine at the Sydney show, doing a back flip that ended up with Wheels pretty much bouncing onto his head.
Recovering instantly, he went back to the top of the massive circus ramp and announced to the Ace Arena crowd: "Now I'm going to try a double back flip, but only if Zaine Fox gives me the thumbs up!"
Zaine raises his thumb and winks as he tells me.
Zaine's battle with the cruel disease has become a community effort in Kandanga, where people still matter and, when a common enemy emerges, stick together like glue.
A medical fundraiser on Saturday will feature raffles for a range of goods donated by generous Mary Valley and Gympie businesses.
"I used to be pretty good at soccer, I was sort of third best in school, but I'm not good at it anymore," Zaine Fox told me yesterday, as he prepared to go outside in his wheelchair.
But he laughs wickedly as I read from the Nitro Circus magazine, particularly the interview with Jolene Van Vogt who, when asked who's the coolest member of the Nitro Circus team, replies: "Me, because I've got bigger balls than all the guys!"
Greatest of them all is extreme rider Travis Pastrama, who autographed Zaine's souvenir jersey and cap. "He jumps over a hovering helicopter," Zaine said.
"He jumps out of a plane with no parachute and links up with other jumpers as he falls, so he can ride down on their parachutes. He rides Suzukis, but my favourite brand is Yamaha," he declares.
Zaine's big fundraiser will be held on Saturday at Kandanaga Bowls Club, with a $20 donation to cover barbecue lunch, barefoot bowls and 10 tickets in the multi-draw raffle, under 12s free.