Marty McShane Cup: Wanneroo Junior Motocross Club hosts first event to help family

Tarsha McShane with sons Sam (left) and Ben. Picture: Matt Jelonek d480770
Tarsha McShane with sons Sam (left) and Ben. Picture: Matt Jelonek d480770

FAMILY means everything to the McShanes.

Recovery was long and hard but by November, Mr McShane was feeling well enough to start thinking about going back to work in the new year.

In November 2016, Marty (44) was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, undergoing four rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant in May thanks to his perfect donor match brother.

However, in January this was no longer the case and a scan revealed his leukaemia had returned.

“This time it was not in his blood but was attaching itself in blasts in different parts of his body as well as one on his brain and in his central nervous system,” wife Tarsha said.

Mr McShane returned to hospital on February 5 to start treatment.

Marty McShane.

“The doctors are buying us some time; they have told us this type of cancer is smart and learns how to avoid the chemo and it will continue to return,” Mrs McShane said.

“We had a heartbreaking decision: either go home and spend a few weeks together as a family or to start treatment in the hope of giving us a few more months together.

“The toll the chemo has had on Marty’s body, his mind and our family’s emotions was horrendous and now we were going to go through it again for an outcome that ultimately leads to death anyway.

“The turning point for Marty was being told our friends had organised a backyard blitz.

“Once he knew that, he was determined to fight for them, to fight to be able to have a beer in his new backyard with his friends.”

The past 16 months have been “so hard” for the McShanes but help has been found in their Wanneroo Junior Motocross Club family.

For four years, sons Sam (12) and Ben (9) have been riding at the club, inspiring Mr McShane to also give it a go.

But when they’re not on the track, they are volunteering their time, with Mrs McShane running the canteen, the boys cleaning up around the track and Mr McShane doing “whatever jobs need to be done”.

They have also recruited the boys’ grandmother and cousin to help in the canteen and their aunty takes photos of the kids riding.

“So really, our entire family has become part of the club,” Mrs McShane said.

In response to their commitment, members of the club pulled together to renovate the McShane’s Wanneroo backyard.

“Marty was in hospital and I woke up on a Friday morning to find our backyard was filled with people taking it apart,” Mrs McShane said.

“Now, a brand new patio has been built and the area has been enclosed from the elements, all the paving was taken up and exposed aggregate concrete has been laid, there’s new garden beds, we have a back access gate installed, the old pool fence was replaced with a glass fence, the pool area has been redesigned and paved and we now have grass.

“The boys can’t wait to have their first game of backyard cricket.”

Tarsha McShane with sons Sam (left) and Ben. Picture: Matt Jelonek d480770

Mr McShane said he was “absolutely blown away by the generosity of people and local businesses that have given time and money to create something so special for us”.

But it does not stop there.

“When Marty is having treatment and is unable to be there, the members make sure our boys are taken care of while I’m running the canteen; they fill their bikes up for them, get them to their races, high-five them and just love them like they are their own,” Mrs McShane said.

“The ladies at the club even cook us dinner every night.

“They have their own jobs and families to look after but they still show up everyday with a beautiful family meal ready for us.

Mr McShane said the club really was their family.

“When we first got the news, I was worried about my two boys and how they would go from boys to men without me being around but I know that my boys will have great male role models for them in our members and that the boys will always be taken care of,” he said.

This Saturday, the club will also host the inaugural Marty McShane Cup to raise funds for the family.

The event will feature junior and senior solo and quad events as well as raffles and auctions, with attendees asked to wear something orange in support of leukaemia.

There will also be a cup presented to the rider who shows the same fighting spirit as Mr McShane.

Pits open 1.30pm with the riders briefing at 2.45pm.

“It brought tears to my eyes when I first heard about it,” Mr McShane said.

“It’s just another thing that WJMC continue to do for my family; it’s quite inspiring to be part of such a great motocross club.”

Mrs McShane said it meant “so much to them”.

“They have always supported us emotionally and now they are raising funds to support us financially,” she said.

“I wish I could say we will use the money to enjoy a family holiday, however our reality is that it’s just not possible.

“We are not sure what is around the corner for us but to know that when the time comes, we are still able to pay the bills and the boys will always have our family home to come home too is such a relief.”

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