Birthday surprise for Luke
WITH a grin on his face and a Western Star Trucks cap perched proudly on his head Luke Roberts climbed into his first truck.
The Western Star Constellation from the Brisbane Truck Centre was driving to the Royal Hotel in Leyburn, owned by rugby league royalty Shane Webcke.
And while Luke wasn't driving, he was glad to be travelling in a vehicle he is passionate about.
Luke was born with a leaky heart valve. He wasn't meant to make it to a year. In only his seventh month he suffered a stroke.
Against the odds he survived, but suffered a partially paralysed right arm.
As if that wasn't enough, when Luke turned seven he began having seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy.
Three decades later Luke has not only survived but thrived. His epilepsy was controlled by medication and he was working with the State Government in assisting flood and cyclone victims.
Despite a wish to drive trucks, Luke was unable to qualify for a manual licence due to his weak arm.
For his 30th birthday Luke's wife Sue organised with Big Rigs and the Brisbane Truck Centre to take him out in one of their trucks.
The Centre put forward one of their Western Star Constellations to drive Luke across the south-east of Queensland.
"When we're on the highway driving, he's always got his nosed pressed against the glass looking at the different trucks," she said.
"He's always liked trucks, ever since he was little.
"A friend of his family drove a milk truck when he was growing up, his mum told me he always thought that was pretty great."
Even his wallet is stamped with the impression of a Mack cattle truck.
The grin plastered across his face as the Western Star took off rarely left his face as Luke was driven out of Brisbane, along the Warrego Highway to Toowoomba and south into the tiny town of Leyburn.
The trip was a huge surprise for Luke.
He was driven from their Taigum home, in Brisbane's north, to the Brisbane Truck Centre on other side of town completely in the dark.
Luke, a softly spoken man, said he was thrilled with his trip.
"It was brilliant," he said.
"I didn't expect it at all.
"It's been a brilliant day."