MAKING a difference to the lives of people with disabilities runs in Jared Foster's genes.
His mother and grandparents spent their careers working with children with disabilities and from an early age Mr Foster knew he wanted to follow in their footsteps.
But this time, the 36-year-old Croydon resident and disability worker is taking his mission to warmer climates and will ride his bike from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh in Cambodia.
The gruelling 350 kilometre journey, lead by paraplegic and champion hand cyclist Gary Connor, will be undertaken with 20 other disabled and non-disabled Australians.
The focus is to raise awareness and funding for the thousands of disabled women in Cambodia.
"What we want is to create awareness that people are capable of so much despite having a disability and to help give recognition to this sub-category of women who endure a difficult life in Cambodia," Mr Foster says.
Cambodia has the world's highest rate of polio and amputees, stemming from the civil war during the 1970s.
Mr Foster says having a wheelchair in Cambodia is a luxury many disabled live without.
Knowing firsthand the effects of polio - his father was diagnosed with the condition during childhood - Mr Foster wants others to know the importance of keeping active despite having a disability.
"When my father was diagnosed with polio he was told he'd never walk again.
"But he defied the odds and still swims and keeps active despite the physical difficulties the condition has placed on him as he has gotten older."
Mr Foster has so far raised $1200 but hopes to raise $4000 by the end of the trip. CyclePower Cambodia takes place from June 1-9.
To find out more or to donate, call 9473 0133 or email email@example.com.