By Noah Schultz-Byard (Cross Media Reporter)
The ability to take a personal tragedy and turn it into an inspirational message of hope for others is certainly one of the most amazing capabilities we hold within us.
Melody was a much loved member of the Gough family until, on her way home for Christmas in 2009, her life was cut short as a result of a road accident.
Melody was an organ donor and, while her family couldn't have known it at the time, the positive impacts of Melody's life were going to carry on for years to come.
Through making her organs available to people in need, she and the people closest to her, were able to help in saving the lives of three critically ill people.
Inspired by her, Melody's father David Gough has now set out on a 5000km Organ Donation Awareness Ride which is taking him all the way around New South Wales.
As he rides he has been raising awareness of organ donation, and today he has brought his message to Broken Hill.
"A lot of people shy away from discussing organ donation because it is a result of a tragedy... (but) out of a tragedy people can live, and people do live.
"Without that gift that people can bestow, there are a lot of people on that organ donation list that unfortunately are going to die."
David says he has been welcomed into every one of the dozens of communities he has been through on his journey so far.
"The feeling has been very very positive."
He talks passionately about the importance of wholly preparing yourself and your family regarding the issue of organ donation.
"The majority of people that I've talked to said 'Oh yeas, I'm an organ donor - I ticked my license.' but they don't realise that that's not enough."
He says the best thing to do is to discuss your decision with the people closest to you.
"Discuss it with your family because... if they are placed in the position of having to give final permission at least they will realise that you truly believe in what you're doing."
"That way, more people... will actually be saved and helped by the organ donations that may well (not) have been forthcoming."
David is two weeks into his three week journey and still has more than a dozen towns to visit on his way.
Riding through Swan Hill, Mildura, Wagga and many other places on his way back to Canberra, he hopes to use the story of his family's difficult experience to help inspire others to donate the gift of life.
To find out more about David's ride, go to the ODAR website here.
And more information on organ donation can be found on the DonateLife website here.
Download this mp3 file
David Gough discusses his ride to raise organ donation awareness