Goes without saying. We’ve all been affected by it – it almost seems like death from “old age” is a rarity these days, with the c-bomb taking far too many of our loved ones.
Earlier this year, I donned lycra and rode a bike from Christchurch to Queenstown, covering over 700 km, with a mission to help raise much-needed funds for cancer research. I did this with the Smiling for Smiddy crew, which is part of the Mater Foundation. This ride was gruelling physically; emotionally it was also incredibly tough, as we lost our good mate Ross “Rossco” Noye to a heart attack on the morning of the last day.
Smiddy is a great, inspiring organisation – they have raised over $7m for cancer research so far. My own quest to take part in the ride and raise funds for cancer research came about for a couple of reasons, which I’m sure you can relate to.
Firstly, I was talked into taking part over a wine (or five) at a charity lunch (who hasn’t agreed to something silly a few drinks in?!). But, more seriously, I’ve seen far too much cancer in my years. My Father died from lung cancer when I was 13. My Stepfather died from pancreatic cancer a few years ago, and was soon followed by my Grandfather, who died from Melanoma. My Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of years ago – and though it seemed like she only had a couple of months left, thanks to a new drug (which no doubt only exists because of fundraising efforts of good people), she made a truly miraculous recovery. Now my Grandmother, who is nearly 95 years old (and who, at this age, should be lucky enough to pass away in her sleep), has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
Our next challenge is the 2018 Tassie Smiddy Challenge (taking place in March next year). This ride involves travelling about 660km in 5 days. Our peloton will consist of about 45 riders, with a goal to raise at least $350,000 for cancer research. We have each paid $1700 (plus airfares) to cover our accomodation and meals, to ensure that donations are going to the cause. We’ll be riding to help beat cancer, as well as commemorating the life and passing of Rossco and the countless people that have been involved with Smiddy.
What am I asking of you?
- Here’s what I reckon is fair – can you give me an hour of your time? If so, what is your time worth? If you’re a professional that charges $x per hour, then donate $x (and remember it’s tax deductible, not taxable!); if you own a business and made $y profit last year, donate just 0.05% of what you made (1 hour in a 38hr week in a 52 week year). Be a champ – donate to an outstanding cause on my page!
- If you fancy a great night out at a Gala Ball, pencil in Friday 23rd February – buy a table for your team or clients, or even better, email me to enquire about sponsorship opportunities.
Thank you very much in anticipation of your part in helping me to fight cancer.
– Mark Trayner