Thursday, 10 October 2013

If I Needed Any More Reasons..........

This time tomorrow I will be in the bus (family car) with my wife and kids heading up the Hume highway bound for Sydney.  No I am not going on another holiday, I am going to Sydney to take part in my second “Ride to Conquer Cancer”.

Many of you that follow this blog, perhaps have even donated some cash, will be aware that this means a lot to me.  I have managed to raise $16, 345.80 for my 2013 rides and to say I am over the moon with that is an understatement.  It has been extremely hard to garner that support, has at times placed strain on my marriage, but I am now through that part of it and can just worry about riding.  It is what everyone thinks I am raising the cash for after all.

Well, it would be nice to say that is the case.  Yes I want to raise money for the sake of being able to take part in these rides and share an awesome experience 6 times in 6 different cities.  That is a very airy fairy way of looking at it and to some that is the way it may seem, but sadly this is just a medium for me to raise money in the only way I see possible.  The rides are my tool to help get cash for this insidious disease that is tearing apart families daily and impacting on my world directly.

The reason I started this quest last year along with Julie, is because of her dad.  He is battling his own demon in a rare strain of melanoma.  The doctors gave him 3 months and told him to get his shit in order.  Now anyone that knows Eddie, knows he is a super positive bloke (not once have I seen him grumble about his hand that he has been dealt) and I am over the moon to say this prognosis was over 2 years ago.  He is still not out of it yet, he has undergone some pretty invasive surgery to try and save his life and is now undergoing a trial of a new drug, but whilst we have breathe in our lungs, we will continue to raise money to help researchers find a cure for cancer. 

Eddie - The most positive man I have ever met

Eddie is our initial reason for riding.  It was him that sprung into my mind when I had cramps in both thighs on my Brisbane ride half way up a mother of a hill.  I had a split second to make a choice, get off and walk or tough it out and get up the hill.  I remembered the shit toxic concoction that gets pumped into him every fortnight and that he couldn’t just get off when he felt like it.  If he was sucking it up princess, so was I.  OMG it nearly killed me getting to the top of that hill (yes massive exaggeration, but you know what I mean) but I wasn’t taking the easy way out just because I could.  I have done that far too many times in my life, hence the reason I was morbidly obese.  No more easy way out for me.  Eddie is whom Julie and myself dedicate our Melbourne ride to.

Myself and Annette - Adelaide is for you

Over the course of the last year, I have been lucky enough to meet another lovely lady, sadly battling with Breast Cancer.  She initially had it 9 years ago and after 2 years went into remission and was fortunate to have triplets, which are now 7 years old.  Sadly she has had the cancer come back in her spine.  After spending a considerable amount of time and money getting treatment in China, she is sadly at the point where the cancer has spread into her lungs and brain.  She has lost the use of her legs and arms and is on a breathing apparatus.  She has said that she is just waiting now for the disease to take her but she is spending quality time with her husband and children.  Having met this lady and seen the amazing outlook on life that she has, the way she has tackled this disease and allowed her children to understand that she is going to die, but to embrace it and ensure they do everything they can with the time they have left is incredible.  She mentioned to me that one of her children asked her “Mummy, can I Skype you in heaven?”  This nearly tore me apart.  This lady is who I am dedicating my Adelaide ride to, but sadly she may not be with us to be there, which I was hoping as it is her home town.

I have another friend, whom I met through the 12WBT that is also fighting this bastard.  They never moan about it, keeps a lot to themselves, but I have built up a good friendship with them and they keep me in the loop as to what is happening.  They astound me on a regular basis with what they are still able to achieve health and fitness wise even during treatment.  This proves that some people are extraordinary and can still achieve great things in the face of adversity.  They have become one of my biggest supporters and a major part of my support network over my journey to lose weight and get fit.  They know how much I value their support and friendship and this weekend I ride for you.  Thanks Mate and yes one day we will do something amazing together.  Not sure what, but knowing you it will be crazy (you are a crazier SOB than me.)

Bec - Her mum passed away on Monday

Finally, the thing that made it all hit home this week and kills me to a certain degree.  With all the excitement and hype surrounding our team in the lead up to our next ride, myself and the team were given some horrible news.  Firstly one of my dear friends and riding colleagues had her mum pass away.  This rocked all of us as you can imagine.  There will be many hugs and some tears when we all get together tomorrow for a team dinner.

Following this horrible news, our team captain and the ideas man behind this crazy idea of us riding all 6 rides informed the team that he had been diagnosed that day with an acute form of leukemia and was undergoing treatment immediately.  This would mean that he would miss the rest of our rides due to being hospitalised for a month and then being kept at home after that for daily treatment for another 2 months.  He was devastated that he couldn’t complete the rides with us, we were all devastated that he had been told he was ill.  He is a fighter, having previously beaten melanoma, but we will be doing our best to have as many of our team as the remainder of the rides to carry out his vision.

Klaus - Our Captain lying down on the job

So as you can see, these people are the real fighter.  Whilst so many people have said to me that I inspire them with my rides and that I am doing an amazing thing, I don’t see it like that.  I look at the 4 people above and the thousands of others that battle this shitty disease every day and they are the inspiring ones, the amazing ones and it makes me think.  Why wouldn’t I do this?  Having a sore bum for a couple of days sure beats having drugs and toxins pumped into your body.

Vision Crusaders - Trying to make a difference


  1. TOO RIGHT!!! Lets go!!!! See you tomorrow xx Dani

  2. Great post and based on the photos it looked like it was a blast! I would love to participate in an event much like this here in the states (one of my 2014 goals actually.) I was reading a few of your other posts and just had a quick question about your blog. Could you please email me whenever you get the chance? Thanks so much Greg!