Five years cancer free is a landmark of great significance for 62-year-old Forster resident, David Hughes. It is, he explains, his time to give something back.
The venture David is embarking on is the Great Cycle Challenge; a national fundraiser for the Children’s Medical Research Institute held every October.
David’s own journey with cancer began in December 2013, when he was diagnosed with stage three melanoma.
“I had surgery to remove a golf-ball size lump from my left armpit,” he explained, “that was followed by intense radiotherapy for the next six weeks.”
The surgeon also removed 21 glands from the left side of David’s body, with cancer found in 19 of these.
“In the past five years I have had various stays of up to a month in hospital with infections, and at one stage I couldn’t walk for nearly two months,” the grandfather of 11 said.
“Having no glands on the left side of my body meant infections came thick and fast.”
It breaks your heart when you see little kiddies with this insidious disease, they are the true heroes.- David Hughes
Almost five years later, David is ready to put his experience to good use and do all he can to ensure others don’t have to endure a similar ordeal.
“I joined the Great Cycle Challenge to maintain my fitness and set myself a goal of 200km to ride during the month of October,” he said.
“I also decided to raise funds for the cause, and started with a realistic goal of $500. Six weeks later I have had to reset my goal several times and my latest goal is $10,000.”
David has currently raised more money for the cause than any other fund raiser in Australia, and is now encouraging others to get involved too.
“Whilst that is an achievement to be proud of it’s all about finding a cure for cancer for the little kiddies,” he maintains.
“This year there are over 10,000 riders and each rider has their own story. We all know someone who has been affected by cancer.
“It breaks your heart when you see little kiddies with this insidious disease, they are the true heroes.”
Calling on the community to jump on board with the cause, David describes the challenge as both rewarding and fulfilling.
“My next fundraising venture is a sunset cruise on the Free Spirit on Saturday, September 29,” he explained.
“The cruise will depart from the Waterlne Boatshed at 3.15pm, tickets are $40 each and include finger food lovingly prepared by my wife, Sandra.
“All proceeds will go to the Children’s Medical Research Institute. The Free Spirit is fully licensed, please call me on 0403225437 to get tickets.”
To donate or sponsor David’s ride, visit www.greatcyclechallenge.com.au/riders/DavidHughes2, or find more information and get involved with the the Great Cycle Challenge at www.greatcyclechallenge.com.au.
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