Iconic Mack bulldog gives sick kids a flying start

Mack Trucks Australia has donated $10,000 to help a Sydney man take off on a worldwide quest to raise funds for children suffering from cystic fibrosis.

Matthias Fuchs will begin a gruelling journey on November 7, which will see him travel to six continents over ten days and clock up a massive 139,530 kilometres – without ever leaving an airport. Fuchs said all the proceeds of his marathon plane flight would go straight to the cystic fibrosis clinic at Sydney’s Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

“My 11-year-old daughter Kristen has cystic fibrosis, so it’s a cause that is very close to my heart,” he said. “I’m hoping the trip will raise $140,000 – one dollar for every kilometre travelled. It's going to be tough, but with the generous support from Mack and other sponsors, I’m sure I’ll get there.

“Every single dollar raised will go directly into employing a much needed part-time researcher at the clinic for the next two years.”

Vice President – Mack Trucks Australia, Dean Bestwick, said he was happy to throw the weight of the iconic truck company behind the cause. “Mack Trucks are pretty tough, but these kids are even tougher,” Dean said. “We're thrilled to be able to help Matthias’s mission to raise funds for Westmead’s cystic fibrosis clinic. Travelling to six continents in 11 days is no mean feat but we're confident he has the tenacity to pull it off.”

Matthias said Mack Truck’s ongoing support was vital to the success of the Cystic Fibrosis clinic. “Their generosity has allowed the clinic to purchase a mass spectrometer machine, which provides a detailed lung analysis of children with cystic fibrosis.

“Prior to this, kids with cystic fibrosis had to undergo invasive surgery to obtain the same results. The machine is a far safer option.”

Mack Trucks has also given Matthias the company’s 'Mack the Bulldog' mascot to take with him on the journey. Matthias said Mack the Bulldog would keep him company during the 170 hours he will spend in the air.

“Mack will be with me every step of the way. He's going to be a great travelling companion, I just hope I don’t end up talking to him,” he said. “After this trip, I think Mack will be the world’s most travelled dog.”

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