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Thank you for buying a copy of my book because $5 of your money goes directly to UCARF (Ulyssses Club Arthritis Research Fund), the preferred charity of the Ulysses Club.

If not for the Ulysses Club, I wouldn’t have travelled across Australia on my motorbike and would never have got the opportunity to see the splendour of the Australian outback. It goes without saying that this book wouldn’t have been published without the Ulysses Club.

I knew that I had to give something back to the Ulysses Club and its members who have given me memorable experiences of riding in Australia. What better way than to support UCARF.

This is quite important to me because my wife has had Rheumatoid Arthritis for a number of years and I can see the debilitating effects this disease is causing. Also, the present UCARF Coordinator is Kim Kennerson who I have met many times at meetings of the Eastern Creek Branch of the Ulysses Club.

Rheumatoid Arthritis research has been the preferred charity of the Ulysses Club since 1997 when founding member, the late Stephen Dearnley, OAM, proposed this initiative. The impetus for the funding support was the sad death a year earlier of Stephen’s wife Jo who had lost a 20 year battle with the insidious disease at the early age of 72 years.

Arthritis is a slow, insidious, painful and debilitating disease which doesn’t attract the same publicity as other diseases, but it is by far the most common cause of painful and severe handicap in Australia. Even worse, it can also be deadly. In its various forms it affects nearly five million Australians and accounts for more deaths than AIDS or MS, yet because the disease is so diffuse it doesn’t attract a lot of media attention.

Doctors still don’t know what causes Rheumatoid Arthritis but the Ulysses Club ensures that 100% of donations are directed to the scientific researchers in the form of sponsorships. The Club is currently supporting a post graduate sponsorship at the Institute of Bone and Joint Research (IBJR) at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney and another at Monash University in Melbourne. Please go to the Ulysses Club website at www.ulyssesclub.org to get more information on UCARF.

I have also promised Kim Kennerson that if I manage to sell 1,500 copies of my book, then I will give an additional $5 to UCARF for each copy that has already been sold and for every copy sold thereafter.

In my small way, I am joining my band of motorcycle friends from the Ulysses Club and everyone who buys my book to try and make a difference in this world.

Michael Rohan Sourjah