More than a thousand cyclist are set to hit Mandurah as they ride more than 200 kilometres for cancer at the weekend.
Riders in the MACA Cancer200, Australia’s largest community cycling fundraising event, are aiming to raise $5 million dollars to support vital new research, drug development and clinical trials for the 60% of cancers that don’t respond to current methods.
The ride supports the work of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and will be held over October 26 and 27.
Cancer survivor Kane Blackburn says a ride to support medical research has special meaning for him.
The 31-year-old was enjoying time with family on a boat five years ago when his GP called and told him to urgently get to the Emergency Department.
“I ended up being diagnosed with a serious blood cancer that had a 30% survival rate,” he said.
“My treatment involved six weeks in isolation in hospital and in my room that gave me an exercise bike to use each day.
“Getting onto this exercise bike became my daily challenge so I think I have always embraced the cycling challenges like the MACA Cancer 200 ever since.”
It will be Mr Blackburn’s fourth ride in the event since his successful treatment.
Perkins Director Professor Peter Leedman says his research team can change lives, with breathtaking discoveries within reach.
“Our research is taking on some of the most difficult challenges but needs financial support to continue working on game changing discoveries,” Professor Peter Leedman said.
“We are on the cusp of some pioneering work which is going to lead to better outcomes for a lot of people, who need better drugs and better treatment to help fight this disease.
“We have made so much progress over the years and survival rates are on the improve for many types of cancer but we need to do a lot more work and investigation to develop more effective treatment for cancers like head neck, brain, liver and pancreatic cancer.
“Each year cancer costs more than $4.5 billion in direct health system costs, so game changing research is vital.”
The event will kick off at Perth’s Optus Stadium as cyclists will ride more the 200 kilometres from Perth to Mandurah and back.
If you’d like to support the MACA Cancer200 or want to know more information visit www.cancer200.org.au.