30,000 km, 24 Countries
In February 2010, French-born Australians Stephane Etienne and Jean-Marc Siron will set out on a 30,000km motorcycle ride from Sydney, Australia to Paris, France to raise funds for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), commencing the first trans-continental journey of the WorldRiderZ.
The WorldRiderZ have one goal — to raise money to support ongoing research for kidney disease. Their ultimate objectives include the building a web-based database and information-sharing network for international medical staff, providing upgraded equipment and financial assistance in remote regions, and to generate global awareness of the need for research in CKD.
Followed by an HDTV production crew, the WorldRiderZ will travel across Australia, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe on a 4-month adventure through diverse cultures and landscapes to visit hospitals and identify the needs for equipment, supplies, and access to research as well as financial support of renal and urological paediatric units.
Stephane and Capucine Etienne’s son, Ilhan, was born with hypoplastic kidneys at Sydney Children’s Hospital on 4 April 2009. Motivated by their need for support and information, Stephane came up with the concept of WorldRiderZ to help families all over the world dealing with the diagnosis and prognosis of CKD. The Sydney to Paris ride may be the only one Stephane will do with WorldRiderZ, as he will be donating his kidney when his son’s eventually and inevitably fail.
"I needed to do something that would make a difference," Stephane Etienne explained. "My son is my inspiration, and I hope WorldRiderZ will raise millions of dollars for the research of CKD."
Jean Marc Siron added, "When Stephane first suggested we ride motorbikes from Sydney to Paris, I thought WorldRiderZ was a crazy idea. But as planning began, I realized what an incredible adventure it could be and that we could make a real difference for people with kidney disease."
Throughout their four-continent journey the WorldRiderZ will visit children’s wards to learn more about the unique challenges facing their hospitals. The incidence of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) has doubled worldwide in the past 15 years, and now affects one in seven people of all ages, including newborns.
The high-definition reality-adventure television series, WorldRiderZ – Sydney to Paris, will be shot and produced by a five camera/ten person crew following Stephane and Jean Marc across the 30,000km journey. The production team will create multiplatform content, including a 10-episode sixty-minute reality-adventure-medical HDTV television series. Details on the television series and the hospitals to be visited en route will be announced soon.
The WorldRiderZ will cross all 24 countries on KTM 990 Adventure Motorcycles, world-acclaimed desert bikes that have proven capable of marathon rides in the harshest of terrain, including the Dakar Rally.
Sydney-based firm Techhead Interactive will provide communications equipment including GPS navigation systems, satellite telephones and computers. Sydney production and staging services are courtesy of Big Picture and other supporters of WorldRiderZ include Australian Sports Nutrition (ASN) and Bondi Gym.
"Without the generous support of companies like KTM, Techhead, Big Picture, ASN, Bondi Gym and others, we would be unable to complete this great journey," said Stephane. "We’re thankful for their commitment and hope other companies and individuals will join in to support the WorldRiderZ mission to eradicate CKD."
WorldRiderZ will host a fundraising event in Sydney on Tuesday 27 October at Deus Café, directly adjacent to custom motorcycle showroom Deus Ex Machina in Camperdown. The event will feature a silent auction, French cuisine, wines by acclaimed winemaker Peter Logan, celebrity guests and preview footage of the documentary series. Tickets are AU$85 and available for purchase at www.worldriderz.com or by calling 1800 834 878.
"This is just the start of the journey." Stephane Etienne said. "We still need to raise the funds to help the WorldRiderZ make a difference for a cause that affects over 500 million people around the world. Battling CKD is the driving force behind the WorldRiderZ journey."