Kawhia Cruise Celebrates Five Year Anniversary

Organiser Believes MS Cure Will Soon Be Found

10 october 2017

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On 12 November 2017, dozens of classic American cars will roll out of the carpark of Hamilton’s Classic Car Museum, heading to Kawhia, marking five years since the first Kawhia Cruise.

“The more the merrier and anyone can join us,” says Kawhia Cruise organiser Adam Muir.  “Your car doesn’t have to be American – or even a classic – just come in whatever you’ve got.  This is an important cause.”

The important cause is fundraising for Mutiple Sclerosis (MS) with all donations going to MS Waikato to support MS sufferers, raise awareness and fund research into a cure for the debilitating disease.

MS is a disease of the central nervous system which effects movement, sensation and body function.  There is no cure but research into the disease is being conducted all over the world, including New Zealand’s Malaghan Institute.  Exciting breakthroughs are being made, especially in the field of stem cell research, with a Carterton man Nick Perkins announcing this month that he’d made a miraculous recovery from MS after undergoing stem cell treatment in the US.

Adam says he is given renewed hope every time he hears of these breakthroughs being made. 

“Lately there have been some great results coming from stem cell research,” he says.  “There’s a lot of hope that they’ll find a cure soon.  It might be too late for me but if it can help people newly diagnosed, I want to get in behind that.

“My goal is to fundraise to find a cure,” says Adam.  “It’s a big goal but ultimately it’s my goal.  I don’t know how much money it’s going to take but I’m going to keep going and contribute whatever I can.”

The idea for the Kawhia Cruise came to Adam while he was lying in a hospital bed in 2013, having undergone surgery for cancer, as well as being newly diagnosed with MS.  He had been planning to take his family to Beach Hop, the East Coast’s classic car cruise.

“I was lying there, unable to speak and feeling sorry for myself and I thought, ‘if I die now, what’s my legacy?  What will my kids remember me for?’  That’s when I came up with the idea of the Kawhia Cruise.  The East Coast has the Beach Hop so I decided to do something similar for the West Coast and also fundraise to find a cure for MS.”

The Kawhia Cruise had its debut in 2013 and was led by Adam and his wife Shelley in a 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu.  Sadly, Shelley succumbed to a brain tumour before the next year’s cruise.  In Shelley’s honour, Adam bought a 1958 Chevrolet Apache truck which has led the cruise each year since and will again take pride of place this year for the fifth anniversary cruise.

“People are starting to recognise the cruise as the go-to annual event for the east coast of the north island,” says Adam.  “It’s picking up momentum under its own steam.  The east coast has beach-hop.  The west coast has the Kawhia Cruise.

“A lot of people have no idea what MS is.  It’s not really recognised by the public.  Because it’s not in the forefront of their thoughts, like cancer is, it’s not seen as a threat.  And if it’s not seen as a threat, there’s no support for it.  Now it’s up to me to make sure it’s kept in the public eye and that people with MS aren’t forgotten.

“With the Kawhia Cruise being a recognised event, it’s easy to get people talking about MS.  So people draw a correlation between me, who has MS, and the Kawhia Cruise.

 “Getting MS has been a gift.  I think MS chose me, because it knew I wouldn’t sit around doing nothing.  It knew I wouldn’t sit in a corner and watch the world go by.

“A cure for MS will be found and it’s not going to be too far away.  The researchers just need money to keep going.  And that’s what I’m doing with the Kawhia Cruise.”

The Fifth Annual Kawhia Cruise will start at 9am on 12 November 2017, outside the Classics Museum, 11 Railside Place, Dinsdale, Hamilton.