Meet your fellow riders
“I was just 27 years old when I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. I was young, I was a new dad and I had no idea what I was in for. I made it through surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy with the support of my family… and then just a few months later I had some pain in the middle of my spine. A visit to the chiropractor, an x-ray and a visit to my oncologist revealed that I now had a tumour in my spine which required more rounds of treatment.
Thankfully, I’ve been cancer free for around 25 years now, but that wasn’t the last time I was impacted by cancer. Sadly, I lost my mum to bowel cancer 10 years ago and it’s because of this and my own personal experience with cancer that I’ve chosen to make my K’s count this March with Cancer Council SA’s Ride for a reason.
As part of the challenge, we’re aiming to have teams ride for 24-hours on the spin bikes at my gym, Trend Fitness Seaford. The challenge will see teams take over the handlebars for an hour at a time until we reach 24 hours completed. It really will be a team effort and every K we complete and every hour we ride together will help take on cancer by raising funds for Cancer Council SA.”
Kate has been inspired to do what she can to reduce the rate and impact of cancer after years of working in cancer research. This March, she is challenging herself to cycle 300 kilometres, while raising funds for South Australians impacted by cancer.
“Cancer is so common in our community that none of us are going to escape life without being affected by it in one way or another. Whether it be ourselves, our family or our friends. If we can make an impact on reducing that challenge that everyone faces then I think it’s important”
"I do it because it makes me stop and reflect on so many close friends, many of them who have passed away because of cancer, and think about the huge influence they have had on my life. People who have shaped my life. All of them played hard and were here on earth for a good time and not a long time. I like to honour them. As Tim Whitelum said at the end, “it’s about the quality of life not how long you live. You should spend your time with family and your friends, doing fun stuff and being good people. By fundraising for cancer research, I get the opportunity to remember them, so they are not forgotten’’.
“This is my 11th year I have participated. My goal is 1000 kms and raise $3000. I have started a bit early into February to make sure I reach my goal. I need to ride 250 kms a week. I am very motivated about riding again for Cancer Council SA"
"In mid-2009 and I was told that I was living with stage 4 bowel cancer, had years left to live and would be on chemotherapy for the rest of my life. My diagnosis ignited a passion in me to do everything I could to fight off this dreaded disease and it’s that passion that has remained with me ever since that day. Riding became my escape, with Ride for a reason becoming a yearly tradition. Every year, I gather with a group of riders to form ‘Team Mishmash’, a literal mishmash of people from across SA, all with different stories and different backgrounds but one clear passion—to raise money towards a cancer free future. I credit my cycling, together with a healthy lifestyle and visits to my naturopath, for allowing me to outlive my diagnosis. Even when I’m on treatment, I still like to get out on the bike as much as I can. For me, it’s pure freedom."
"I can’t imagine much worse words to hear than ‘I have cancer’ from a loved one. The fear, uncertainty and emotional distress that comes from that is unfathomable.
I am glad to say I have not heard those words, but if I did, I want to know that organisations like Cancer Council are there to support me and my loved ones through the difficult time. Offering accommodation, transport and most importantly, support to answer any questions is worth its weight in gold. I support Ride for a reason to help the team at the Cancer Council, enabling them to support to those who need it most."
"It was just after Easter 2012 when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. When I was diagnosed, I took it as a real ‘boot in the bum’ and decided to start taking care of myself. Running my own business, I was always tired, exercised irregularly and survived on 3–4 hours of sleep too often. Following the operation, I changed my diet, cut down on alcohol and paid attention to what I ate and lost weight. I also started cycling and have continued my fitness regime of cycling 100km a week for the past six years. In January 2018, I celebrated five years cancer free and it was this personal milestone that motivated me to sign up to Ride for a reason for the first time. For me, Ride for a reason is a chance to celebrate this gift of healing for our family and also give back and fund further research towards a cure."
Meet Matt Glaetzer: Olympian and Ride for a reason Ambassador
Matt Glaetzer is a South Australian Olympic Cyclist and also a cancer survivor.
Back in October 2019, Matt was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, having an operation a month later to remove the tumour from his throat.
“Receiving a diagnosis like that out of the blue, especially when I was so fit and healthy, was a complete shock. It was pretty heavy to get the call, but I’m also incredibly thankful that the doctors caught it early and I was able to get onto it pretty quickly.”
Now on the road to recovery, Matt is making his K’s count and is looking to support other South Australians facing the uncertainty of a cancer diagnosis by taking part in Cancer Council’s Ride for a reason.
“The whole cancer experience taught me a lot of things and I now want do my part to make things a little bit easier for those diagnosed in the future by sharing my story and helping organisations like Cancer Council SA.”
Meet Pat Jonker: your Ride for a reason Team Trainer
Pat Jonker is a legend in the world of South Australian cycling. A two-time Olympian, 2004 Tour Down Under winner, and five-time Tour de France rider, Pat was a professional rider from 1993 to 2004 and has taken part in events around the world—but it’s Ride for a reason which continues to have a special place in his heart.
A Ride for a reason Ambassador, Pat has been involved in the event since it started in 2009 as both a participant and a coach, following his Tour Down Under win in 2004.
“During my first few Tours it was known that my mum was going through breast cancer so when Cancer Council SA asked if I could help out and become a coach for the team after I retired I never hesitated. More than 12 years later and I haven’t looked back.”
“It’s been great, but also at times very sad. I’ve seen too many people pass away throughout the years which makes me even more motivated to come back every year.”
Pat has become an integral part of Ride for a reason, supporting riders by holding monthly training rides, providing tips on how to become a more effective rider and going out into the community sharing why Ride for a reason is more than just a cycling event.
For Pat, the event is not only a chance to raise money, it’s also a chance to meet new people and join together for a common cause.
“The best part of the event is meeting the riders every year and listening to their reason. The training rides are by no means a race; those days are far behind me! They are a chance for us to get together, share stories and exchange fundraising tips.”
Throughout the years, Pat’s motivation remains clear. He rides for those he knows impacted by cancer, which in recent years, has included his best friend.
“I’m thrilled to be involved in the event again this year by supporting Cancer Council SA and leading the Ride for a reason charge. Even though the route might be challenging, it’s nothing compared to the challenges faced by those impacted by cancer, which motivates me to come back year on year and ride for the ones that I love.”
So what are you waiting for? Sign up to Ride for a reason today and get the chance to learn from Pat Jonker, one of the best in the business, through his monthly training rides.
Do you know the number one reason people donate to charities? Because they were asked! It's that simple.
Below are some tips to help you boost your fundraising. After you register, you can log in to your fundraising dashboard to access downloadable resources and more!
Personalise your online fundraising page.
Let people know why you're raising money to help people impacted by cancer.
Get the ball rolling by donating to yourself.
Kickstart your fundraising with a self donation and show your commitment to a cancer free future.
Tell your supporters why every dollar counts.
Every dollar you raise through Ride for a reason will go towards funding Cancer Council SA's life-saving research, prevention, advocacy and support programs that help reduce the rate and impact of cancer.
Contact everyone you know.
Tell them what you're planning and let them know how they can support you.
Ask your workplace to dollar match.
Ask your boss and colleagues if they're able to support you by matching every dollar you raise.