Treatment thanks to community
ANXIETY, hope and anticipation clouded Hervey Bay Airport yesterday as family and friends with red-tinged eyes waited to wave goodbye to a Virgin Blue plane leaving for Germany.
On board were a nervous Bob Carlson and his exhausted wife Jan.
It has been a long journey for the Hervey Bay couple but the two are finally on their way to Cologne for stem cell treatment to help Bob with his fight against motor neurone disease.
Bob cried as music and church friends bade him good luck and safe travels for the journey.
His tears were met with those from his son Kris, who admitted he was trying his best to hold them back.
Kris, 32, was confident the $13,000 treatment would work but was concerned about the length of the flight and how exhausted his dad would be.
It was Bob’s first time flying with a wheelchair, Kris said, and instead of using his own chair he had to borrow an aircraft one.
It was not as comfortable and Bob planned on borrowing a pillow from another passenger to sit on.
“At least he’ll be back for Christmas,” Kris added with watery eyes.
A little over $22,000 was raised by the Fraser Coast community to send Bob and Jan on the trip and local musician Keri McInerney said more cheques were still coming in.
“It’s just been amazing,” she said.
The extra money would act as a buffer, Ms McInerney said, in case the pair needed a top-up of funds while overseas.
Anybody who would like to contribute money, no matter how small the amount, still can by contacting Ms McInerney on 0407 155 993. People can also order a DVD from The Bob Carlson Benefit Concert held at the Brolga Theatre last month for $25 plus $5 postage.
Bob was diagnosed with motor neurone disease more than six years ago, putting an end to his well-known music career.
He still dabbles in song writing, however, and hopes to continue this.