Bindi Lee met John Olsen on his walk.
2017 I am feeling so humble and sad at the same time.
The how I met John Olsen story is very special to me, and very long……….
I got a phone call from Morris Pieper, as I am the secretary of the Yulara Lions Club. He told me about John’s walk for Leukodystrophy (the first I had heard of it actually) and that John had left his diary in Alice Springs. Morris wanted to know if there was any way to get it to Yulara. Unfortunately, it was a Friday and the truck that brings us our deliveries had already left. I did not have any plans on the weekend so I thought I would go to Alice Springs and pick it up myself. Good excuse for me to get some shopping done anyway.
Alice Springs is 450 km away and I was not exactly sure, when I was driving what I was going to see and whereabouts he was. However, about 270km down the road I saw a man dragging a cart (I was sort of expecting a convoy or at least one safety car). I pulled over a little nervous as John had no idea who I was and what I was doing. However, when I told him, he hugged me and I am sure, fought back a tear.
For the rest of the drive my heart melted and I could not stop thinking about what he was doing. I picked up his diary from the most random kiosk, and got a chance to do some shopping while in Alice. I bought John some new socks, a hi-vis jumper and some deep heat. He did not ask for anything but I thought those items would come in handy. I drove back the next day and met him at one of his pit stops. I spent awhile with him talking and getting to know him and him me. I tracked him every inch ever since that day and organised a special arrival when he reached Yulara.
I gI meet John at the Lions Club sign on the road into town, walking with him for roughly 4km. Then I arranged a dozen locals to walk the remaining 1 km with us to the campground where he was staying. The children made signs for him and the campground provided free accommodation. The company I work for also gave him an open tab at our local store so he could stock up on what he needed. The police arranged and delivered new tyres for his cart. The Lions Club put on a dinner for him and the children at the primary school exchanged letters with him. It was all very special and when he left, he got a teary goodbye from our locals. He rang me on Boxing Day to let me know he had arrived at his destination – I was completely blown-over. He has forever touched me and I am truly grateful that he introduced me to the Leukodystrophy cause.
Bindi Lee has since kindly donated several paintings to The Charity Challenge Gala Ball event in support of Leukodystrophy Australia. Thank you Bindi!