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A Ride to Conquer Cancer – 200km in 2 Days

7 May 2012

I have some pretty cool news to share!

I am going to take part in a 200km bike ride to raise money for cancer research!!

The ride is called the The Ride to Conquer Cancer, and it is going to be held in October 2012 (6 months away!)

Ride to Conquer Cancer

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll probably know that I’M A TOTAL BEGINNER CYCLIST.

You’ll probably even know that my husband found my current bike ON A PILE OF JUNK. It’s a 15 year old, beat up, old, rusty, mountain bike. I ride it along the river with my son on the back. After I have ridden 6 km, I expect to stop at a cafe for lunch, while the boys play on the beach. And when I get back home, I need to have a nap.

Sooooo, how (and why) am I going to ride TWO HUNDRED KILOMETERS?

Well, this is my story.

In 2004, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. It was a horrifying year for us. We just had our first child. And there was so many investigations and uncertainty.

After months of chemotherapy, and two heart-wrenching major surgeries, he survived it!

That was 8 years ago. Now he is [still] cancer-free. And now we have 3 healthy and amazingly active young boys, aged, 9, 7 and 3.

Since then, as you can imagine, life has been very busy for us. We strive to live happy, healthy, low-stress, balanced and fulfilling lives. Living every day, knowing how lucky and blessed we are, but also fearing the cancer returning. I know so many others are going through cancer, or have lost or are losing someone to cancer, and always, the deepest parts of my heart goes out to them.

In 2009, I was invited to a face-to face interview with American cycling champion Lance Armstrong, while he was in Australia – you can read my interview here.

He told me about his foundation, Livestrong, that has raised over 300 million dollars for cancer research, and how most of that money came from the 70 million people who each donated quite a small amount.

At the time, I was *very* inspired to do something to raise awareness of cancer, and fundraising to find a cure. I started to form a few ideas on how I could use my blog to engage in a fundraising project, but I got very busy…because I had my third baby.

Now. Recently my attention has been brought back to this because of a couple of things. In December last year, a six year old girl in Singapore died of cancer. Two years earlier, I did my little bit to help raise some funds for her treatment. Ultimately, Charmaine died because doctors do not know enough about the causes and cures of cancer.

And then, in March this year, my friend Claire died of breast cancer.

So like everyone else who knows someone who suffers from cancer or has lost someone to cancer, I have to somehow “come to terms” with what has happened.

What can I do to be more positive about what has happened, and what might happen in the future?

How can I honor the memory of those who I have lost, and also make a real difference?

Only a few week ago, an article my friend Claire had written was published in a breast cancer support group newsletter. In it, she describes how she found the strength to be positive, and how she kept raising three kids while she had cancer. She was very honest, and admitted that it was very hard work, but she ended with this…

“I remain positive because so much time and money is spent on breast cancer research and I know that I am not alone.”

SO…

When The Ride to Conquer Cancer event came up, I knew it combined my passion for fundraising, raising cancer awareness, my new found passion for cycling and my spirit of adventure… all into one event.

BUT HOLY CRAP, 200 KILOMETERS??!!

That is a staggeringly big, and painfully scary number for me.

I’ve been trying to ride faster on my bike, and I have been tracking my speed and distances. It tells me that being fit enough to ride 200km… is a long, long way off!

But you know what? I want to do it.

I want the challenge. I am inspired. I love cycling. I love adventures. I love trying to make a difference. It’s crazy. But hey, here’s to life!

I will be writing about the whole of my journey on my blog, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride with me. I’ll be asking for donations, and talking about cancer, fashion, fitness, crazy European cycling dudes, and trying not to look and feel like a total idiot!

DONATIONS

The whole point of this is to raise money for cancer research :)

Cyclists participating in The Ride are supposed to set a fundraising target for themselves – the minimum being $2,500.

The careful and conservative-Karen inside me is going – “Always better to set attainable goals! That way you have a higher chance of success! Just stick with the minimum of $2500.”

But the crazy-Karen in me is thinking – “LET’S GO FOR SOMETHING INSPIRING AND HUGE!!! LET’S MAKE LANCE PROUD!!! HE RAISED $3 MILLION!”

So I’m going to aim somewhere *in between* and go for $10,000.

PLEASE HELP ME RAISE $10,000 to help find the cure for cancer!!

You can go to my donations page and make any donation amount you wish – $20, $50, $100, $500! You can leave a public message, or a personal message to me, or just do it anonymously. And you get a receipt, so you can claim this against your tax!

The money goes immediately and directly to cancer research.

I want to make a difference!

Please help me!