Sixteen-year-old Coen Ashton, who is riding the length of the Murray on a jet ski, is hoping to inspire people to consider organ donation.JESS CRAIG February 28, 2014 4:33am
It’s not every day you travel the length of the Murray River on a jet ski, but Coen Ashton in the process of making the journey twice.
Coen, 16, was born with cystic fibrosis and received a double lung transplant in 2011 after years of struggling to breathe with his damaged lungs.
In 2010-11 he jet skied the 2000km length of the Murray River to promote organ and tissue donation.
Due to his health, constant treatments and promotions it took him seven weeks to complete the ride.
He signed more than 1000 new names to the Australian Organ Donor Register.
Now in the beginning stages of his second trip, Coen is back on his jet ski and heading upstream.
‘‘I want to get it done in seven days instead of seven weeks to prove the difference a transplant can make to someone’s life,’’ Coen said.
‘‘Having had the transplant, everything feels so different now.
‘‘CF is a lifelong condition, but the new lungs have helped.’’
Coen began his upstream journey at Goolwa in South Australia on February 22 and has stopped at Blanchtown, Renmark, Mildura, Robinvale and Barham.
The plucky teen whizzed into Echuca yesterday afternoon to meet some locals and share his story.
He’ll aim to finish the trip on Sunday at Yarrawonga.
He’s quick to point out that without his new lungs, he wouldn’t be on a jet ski.
‘‘I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for someone choosing to be an organ donor, and letting their family know their wishes,’’ Coen said.
‘‘I want as many people (as possible) to sign up to the organ donor register and let their family and friends know their wishes.
‘‘It’s so important.’’
Coen has been accompanied by 15 crew members, made up of his family and friends, and four other riders on jet skis join him daily.
‘‘The conditions have been really good, it’s been cold in the mornings, but the days have been beautiful and the river has been nice and flat.’’
Coen, who now lives in Queensland, grew up around Mannum and said he feels at home on the Murray.
For more information about Coen and organ donation, visit www.coenashton.com.au
Shepparton police pursued two youths on foot near Waters Rd this afternoon.
The Mulwala Lions took a huge step forward in the race for the Murray League title with a hard fought, low scoring, 15 point win, against the fancied Barooga outfit, in near perfect conditions at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
Chelsea Campbell is excited with her new business venture, after purchasing Carol Taylor’s hairdressing salon in Hogan St.
THE Echuca-Moama Country Music Festival will kick off next week at Moama RSL with three days of entertainment under the one roof.
NATIONAL tree day came early for Rochester Secondary College with 16 students planting 350 trees in little more than an hour on Thursday.
Goulburn Valley Water, in consultation with the Department of Health & Human Services, has lifted the Boil Water Notice for the township of Tongala.
Australian Army Cadets unit keeps winning awards.
Finley's well-respected Gordon Pyle will be remembered by the Southern Riverina community
HEATHCOTE Park Raceway was back in action on Sunday with a surprise for those expecting owner Russell Clarke to be enjoying his retirement.
Dozens of birds of all shapes and sizes flew the coop as Cobram hosted its inaugural poultry auction last Sunday.
Neil Buckley has been inducted as president of the Deniliquin Lions for the next 12 months.
Superior Seed Co ran a successful Winter Cropping Field Day at Deniliquin last week.
The Benalla Giants came out winners in both the under-14s and under-16s against the Benalla Bulldogs on the weekend.
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