Loss inspires former Eagle

The tight football shorts Peter Wilson flaunted in two West Coast premierships will be replaced on Saturday with even tighter cycling spandex as he embarks on a 100km ride in memory of his late godson.

Wilson said yesterday the inspiration of Elliot Parish, who died in 2011 from a brain tumour, would help him during the Tour De Gracetown through one of the most picturesque parts of the State's South West.

It was at the top of Mt Kilimanjaro in 2009 that Wilson and Elliot's father Rick decided to start an adventure-based charity.

The idea was without a cause until six weeks after their return, when Elliot, 4, was diagnosed with medulloblastoma.

They decided to form the Telethon Adventurers.

Wilson said thoughts of his godson were always close during Adventurer events, which have raised more than $6.5 million.

"It was sad the little man couldn't beat it (the tumour), but every day you walked in his room he was just so alight and happy," Wilson said.

"Even when he was really sick, he used to look at me and would say, 'Willo, you're dog poo'. That was his opening line every time he saw me - he had a fixation with dog poo and it would crack me up every time.

"It didn't matter how sick he'd been, or whether he'd had massive amounts of chemo, he'd come in and we'd sit down and play Lego or something like that. There are many things you learn from it - humility comes into it, self falls away and it makes you fall in love with your family more."

The Tour De Gracetown has raised more than $100,000 since the ride was first held in 2008.

All funds raised go to the Telethon Adventurers and their charity, which supports Princess Margaret Hospital for Children and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research.

Positions are still available for the ride, which also has a 55km route.

Steve Butler

The West Australian

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