Navy team rides to conquer cancer

Published on Ms Natalie Staples (author)

Topic(s): Charities, Fundraising & Community, Cycling

Seaman Josh Leach (back row, far left) stands next to Tim Dugan, CEO of the Chris O'Brien Foundation, and to his right, Tony Lally CEO of SunSuper who sponsored the Sydney Ride to Conquer Cancer. (photo: )
Seaman Josh Leach (back row, far left) stands next to Tim Dugan, CEO of the Chris O'Brien Foundation, and to his right, Tony Lally CEO of SunSuper who sponsored the Sydney Ride to Conquer Cancer.

Over $10,000 was raised by three Navy personnel, who recently donned yellow jerseys and cycled 200 kilometres to raise money for the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

Sub Lieutenant Terron Kelly gives a thumbs up sign as she takes part in the Sydney Ride to Conquer Cancer.

Sub Lieutenant Terron Kelly gives a thumbs up sign as she takes part in the Sydney Ride to Conquer Cancer.

SMN Joshua Leach, PO Chad Smith and SBLT Terron Kelly joined a sea of other riders during the Sydney Ride to Conquer Cancer.

SBLT Kelly said the 200 kilometres was the furthest she had every cycled and the event pushed her out of her comfort zone.

“The furthest I had ridden was 42 kilometres during training at Centennial Park in Sydney, so cycling 200 kilometres was a challenge.”

“The first day of the course incorporated a number of hills that tested my limits.  At times I found it pretty overwhelming and doubted whether I could make it. But then you’d see people cycling past and up ahead with yellow flags, which signified that they were a cancer survivor or sufferer and that would inspire me to keep going,” said SBLT Kelly.

“Whilst getting to know my tent buddy after the first day, she said something which really stuck in my mind and became a mantra to get through the second day.  She said that the pain you feel on the bike is temporary, you can always choose to step off and it will go away.  The pain experienced by those with cancer is continuous and they can not choose to rid of it. It really made me think and kept pushing me to push through my pain barrier.”

“Completing the ride was an inspirational experience. PO Smith was a fantastic ride partner and SMN Leach finished in the first wave of cyclists, which I believe is an enormous achievement,” said SBLT Kelly.

1034 riders took part in the 2 day bike ride and collectively raised $4.1 million dollars for the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, which will officially open on 11 November 2013.

The Chris O'Brien Lifehouse will integrate clinical care, research, education and integrative therapies, creating opportunities for innovative discoveries, compassionate holistic care and better outcomes for patients, their families and carers.

Funds raised from last year’s ride have been earmarked for the purchase of state of the art chemotherapy chairs, electronic beds and vital medical equipment.