Born in 2003, Bailey – best known as Bays – was first rushed to hospital at just four months old. He spent extended periods in hospital, and at three years old, was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome.
For Mum Andrea, Dad Roger and brother Zac, their world was turned upside down and in the early stages of his illness, Bays’ family were told he would not be able to do many things due to his condition.
Riding a bike was on that list, but a brave young Bays proved all the doctors wrong. First a three-wheeler and then straight onto two wheels - Bays loved riding his bike.
The possibility of a wish
Roger and Andrea first met the Make-A-Wish team in 2011 when they learned Bays would be eligible for a wish. Bays loved riding his bike just like his dad, and so a wish involving bike riding seemed the obvious choice.
Then on 13 January 2012, the unimaginable happened, when Bailey suddenly passed away and the Fuller’s lives changed forever. One of the most precious people in their world was gone with no time for goodbyes.
Of this period in their lives Roger says "the pain of loss hurts today as much it did the day we lost Bailey. Time doesn’t heal all things".
A wish reimagined
While Bailey never got the chance to experience his wish, in March 2019 Roger decided to ride in his son's honour, fundraising for Make-A-Wish to help kids like Bays. Word quickly spread to Roger’s cycling club – Tunga Six Cycling – and soon his individual and very personal challenge had to be capped at 24 riders and six ground crew.
Over eight days in March 2019 the inaugural Bays’ Wish team completed a 1,200km ride throughout Victoria including the Goldfields, Grampians, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, High Country and the Murray River. As part of the ride, the team set a goal of raising $10,000 to make wishes come true. Thanks to the generosity of many businesses and local people, Bays’ Wish 2019 raised over $61,000.
"I filled my little Bays’ wish - which meant more to me than anyone could ever imagine," Roger said.
Bays' Wish 2021
After the success of the 2019 event and with full support of Roger, Andrea and Zac, Bays’ Wish is now open to the public for the first time, and will become an annual fundraising ride in memory and celebration of Bays.
With 6,500 Australian children diagnosed with a life-threatening condition each year, every dollar raised helps create more inspirational wishes for sick kids like Bailey.
"Andrea, Zac and myself together with the whole Tunga Six Cycle Team could not be happier and so look forward to Bays’ Wish in 2021," Roger said.