There is no doubt what motivates the thousands of Australians who ride in Great Cycle Challenge each year – knowing that fundraising for cancer research can save children’s lives.
Great Cycle Challenge is now in its 10th year and has raised more than $34m for the cancer research being done at Children’s Medical Research Institute. Every October participants choose how many kilometres they want to ride then ask their friends to sponsor them. Every rider has the same mission: to fight kids’ cancer.
Mum, Sheridan, has learnt in the last six months just how vital research is. In April, her four-year-old daughter, Quinn, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.
“I noticed this spot on her neck, then one on her armpit, then a rash all over her back,’’ Sheridan said. “When I Googled the type of rash I was seeing – leukaemia came up and I had a bit of a panic attack. I nearly fainted at that moment, but I knew I just had to get her to hospital.’’
At first all Sheridan wanted was for Quinn to be cured, but then when she saw the impact of chemotherapy, blood and platelet transfusions, and lumbar punctures she realised that more still needs to be done for kids with cancer.
Quinn is now one of the faces of this year’s Challenge, to inspire the riders.
“The only way they know how to treat Quinn is through research. We have signed Quinn up to be part of a trial to learn about the impact of chemotherapy on her organs. At the beginning, you think ‘right let’s just get rid of this cancer’ but then you realise these drugs are having a huge impact on her body. Whatever we can do to help the researchers find out more about that, we will do.’’
Cancer researcher at Children’s Medical Research Institute, Dr Daniel Bucio-Noble, has participated in Great Cycle Challenge for the last three years and greatly appreciates the Australian public’s support.
“It has been a great channel to raise funds for cancer research but also to communicate to wider audience the work that we do at Children’s Medical Research Institute to combat cancer,’’ Dr Bucio-Noble said.
“Our institution depends greatly on funding from the community. The work that we do in the lab is very important to understand this disease, and it would be impossible without the support of the Great Cycle Challenge. We are very thankful for that.’’
The Great Cycle Challenge can be done anywhere, anytime throughout October! You can hit the road or do it inside on an exercise bike. You choose how many kilometres you aim to ride and how much money you’d like to raise to help kids like Quinn.
Register at greatcyclechallenge.com.au