A heartfelt thank you to Greg McAllister

Thank you seems utterly inadequate to express my gratitude on behalf of Heart Kids NZ to Greg for his selfless giving to our organisation to raise the unbelievable sum of $30,838 (effective 29 March).

If you haven’t yet donated and wish to do so, Greg’s fundraising page will remain open until 14 April.

On 1 March 2022, Greg left Cape Reinga on his bike with little more than a zipper scar on his chest from his childhood heart surgery, a tent, sleeping bag, repair kit and a credit card to accompany him to Bluff. By the end of day one, he had paired up with fellow cyclist Sam Cash and together they cycled the length of Aotearoa enduring huge physical challenges and smiling to the last moment of day 27!

Along the way, Greg and Sam met with many of our heart kids families who welcomed and encouraged them with food, cold drinks, handwritten signs, cheers of support and all-important aeroplane lollies.

Thank you to each one of you who turned out to welcome our Heart Hero with such warm hospitality. Your presence was a wonderful encouragement to Greg during his 27 long days in the saddle. Special thanks also to all the members and families who supported Greg with messages of encouragement on his Facebook page. These were very welcome messages each night as he collapsed into whatever bed he managed to find!

The final leg from Invercargill to Bluff was a truly humbling experience as we rode past red balloons tied to road marker pegs and handmade signs of encouragement, as well as toots of families travelling to Bluff to celebrate Greg’s tour completion. Southland families, you really made those final kilometres a joy. Riding over the brow of the hill into Stirling Point at Bluff to a sea of red and white heart kids tee shirts and red balloons of welcome was a very emotional and humbling moment and one Greg (and I) will cherish forever.

To everyone who supported Greg on his journey, I extend my heartfelt thanks on behalf of Heart Kids NZ.

Whilst I cannot thank everyone who has supported Greg’s adventure, I do want to extend a special thank you to our sponsors WYNN WILLIAMS for your generous financial support and for the beautiful cycling clothing provided to Greg and me - we wore it with pride (Greg definitely carried off the lycra look with more panache than I did!). To Crank it Cycles in Palmerston North, Outdoor Sports in Queenstown and Wensley’s in Invercargill, thank you for your bike support. Thank you too to Wally and Maria at Moana Court Motel for your very generous accommodation rates.

Finally, to Tracey McAllister, Greg’s wife and crew support, you are the Queen of Heart Kids NZ (and husband) support. Tracey fundraised tirelessly, profiled Heart Kids NZ with graciousness and enthusiasm, provided gourmet meals for the hungry crew at all hours, was photographer extraordinaire and a jovial encourager, be it at midnight or 8.00am, thank you Tracey for your selfless warmth and support.

What a journey it has been both for Greg and for those who have looked forward to the nightly updates of Greg’s intrepid adventuring. What an encouragement and inspirational example of hope to so many heart kids across the motu, to know that even at 55 years of age, heart kids can accomplish great things.

Thank you Greg - you are a legend and wonderful role model to our Heart Kids NZ tamariki and whānau - enjoy a rest while you plan the next crazy escapade!

Ngā manaakitanga,

Dr Ruth Gorinski 

Chief Executive Officer

Heart Kids NZ