About Maura


Maura, Meg & Billy 79 days on the road and still laughing!

Maura, Meg & Billy 79 days on the road and still laughing!

ride4acure – Hannah Rose Melanoma Research Fund has come about because my beloved eldest daughter Hannah Rose Luxford-Matthews (aged 20), passed away on 22nd December 2008 at the PeterMac Cancer Centre in Melbourne after a year of living with malignant melanoma (diagnosed 26th Nov. 2007). Sadly this disease took Hannah’s life.  Hannah was a vibrant, loving, intelligent, funny young woman with a lot to live for.  She was finishing her second year at university (UNE Armidale NSW –external Livestock Science), had been working throughout 2008 for Elders Pastoral in Charlton Western Victoria and was a keen campdraft competitor and barrel racer at Rodeo’s. In 2008 Hannah won a championship buckle and  the ‘Most Improved’ Championship trophy at the Southern 3D Barrel Racing Series in Victoria on her wonderful mare ‘Lena’.

I have for the last 20 years been working as an educator and working withing social welfare. All those resources amassed over the years are enabling me to undertake this project with ride4cure. Prior to 1992 I worked in the livestock industry as a drover and contract musterer. Skills that are certainly assisting me now with the horse trek.

Losing Hannah has left me with ‘fire in my belly’ to ‘put melanoma on the map’,  raising both awareness of melanoma as a young person’s disease and funds to research better treatments and a cure. Since August 2009 have been steadily fundraising for the Hannah Rose Melanoma Research Fund and have succesfully completed an 1680 km bike ride from Kempsey to Melbourne during October and November 2009.  During this bike ride I had the opportunity to take the multi-media presentation I creadted called “Mela-What?” on the road and it has been veiwed now by school students in both NSW & VIC numbering now well over 10 000 (May 2010). I am also at present completing an 1880 km horse trek from Kempsey to Melbourne again with “Mela-What?” and visiting many schools and communities. Additionally where I can I meet and/or talk with both state and Federal Members of Parliament to enlist their help in putting melanoma on the map.  2010 saw me riding from Willawarrin (Kempsey NSW) to Melbourne VIC going inland through Central West NSW and down into Western Victoria riding 1860 kms solo with pack horses again raising awareness and funds for melanoma research.

ride4acure horse trek consisting of myself and my three horses Meg, Billy and Wrangler arriving in  Melbourne on 4th July at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, finishing the ride where Hannah finished her Journey with us here on earth and also farewelled her beloved mare “Lena”.

Now in 2011 my daughter Esther is saddling up to ride from Crescent Head(Kempsey) to Perth WA, 4600 kms with Joe and I as her support crew! Together with incredible people making the treks possible through sponsorship and support we’re definitely ‘putting melanoma on the map’.

Today’s research is tomorrow’s cure!