Wayne Kirk has cycled all his life.
But it was his son Sam Kirk's car accident in September 2018 that inspired him to cycle the length of New Zealand to raise funds for the trust that had helped his son recover.
In the crash, Sam broke a disk in his back, his pelvis, two vertebrae in his neck and dislocated a vertebra, which cut blood supply to his spinal column.
Sam spent almost three months at Burwood Spinal Unit in Canterbury which the New Zealand Spinal Trust has worked closely with.
Wayne, from Napier, said the journey of Sam's recovery was something he, his family, friends and colleagues would never forget.
"It was a journey of incredible stress, but at the same time [it was] amazing to be able to tick off the many milestones that saw Sam return to walk again," he said.
Wayne hopes to raise at least $20,000 for the trust. He's at $8390 before he's even started.
Sam said his recovery was rapid, which kept him motivated to get better.
"Every day there was a gain to my health," he said.
Wayne said the long recovery was kept on track by a "light at the end of the tunnel".
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"As Sam made progress each day, we realised how lucky we were.
"There were other families there and young adults – people the same age and younger than Sam – who were not so lucky. It was a stark reminder of what might have been for us," he said.
Sam progressed quickly from a wheelchair, to a walker, to two crutches, to one crutch and was then able to walk unaided.
"Some days were better than others. Some days, the thought of leaving Burwood Spinal Unit seemed so far into the future it wouldn't happen," Wayne said.
Sam left Burwood just before Christmas, 2018, and returned to work at the family company in January 2019.
The ride must be done in no less than 10 days and no more than 30. Wayne said he was aiming for anything less than 30, but "27 I'd be happy with".
Sam is proud of his dad for taking on the challenge.
"It's pretty phenomenal, it's a big ask, riding the whole length of the country.
"I can't thank him enough.
"The money goes straight to them [NZ Spinal Trust]. The more money they get you never know it may give someone a chance to live a normal life again like I had," Sam said.
The NZ Spinal Trust is an organisation Wayne feels helps many.
"Their help and support to families and people with spinal injuries is amazing, which is why I'm hoping to raise a substantial sum of money for them along my tour of Aotearoa," he said.
Wayne leaves for his journey on Saturday and will begin cycling on March 4 with a couple of his friends.
He has only recently converted to mountain biking, which will be his only mode of transport during the trip.
• Donations for Wayne's journey can be made at https://nzspinaltrust.org.nz/campaigns/wayne-kirks-tour-of-aotearoa/ .
The NZ Spinal Trust
• The NZ Spinal Trust was established in 1994 and provides support to those with Spinal Cord Impairment (SCI).
• It works with the Burwood Spinal Unit and the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit.
• The trust operates peer and whānau support, a vocational rehabilitation service and a resource centre to help those with SCI.
• About 80 per cent of its funding comes from fundraising.