AFTER more than 500km of cycling the Silver Lining Ride team arrived in Echuca last week.
The annual ride, now in its third year, raises money for ovarian cancer research with 12 cyclists covering more than 1000km and stopping at country towns along the way before finishing at the MCG.
This year eight riders stopped in Echuca for the night before being seen off with a barbecue breakfast at Echuca Bendigo Bank and a 25km cycling tour around town.
The fundraising ride is the brainchild of Georgie Herbert and Clint Stanaway, who were searching for a way to honour Georgie’s mother Mandy, who died from ovarian cancer.
Retired Danish footballer Thomas Sorensen joined last year’s Silver Lining Ride and was on board again this year, at the time he didn’t realise the personal impact it would have.
While he was riding last year, his mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
“My family waited until I had finished to tell me, it really hit home and made it a lot more personal,” he said on Thursday.
“To be raising awareness and money for early detection makes the odds of survival so much greater.”
Due to the code red fire danger the group then headed off to Shepparton, then rode back to Bendigo on Friday.
“We’ve been fortunate the weather hasn’t been too extreme – except for today,” Thomas said.
“It’s been some long hours in the saddle but we have a great team and it’s a great physical challenge for a good cause.”
Oncology/Haematology Ward nurse unit manager at Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre Emma Cohen also took the plunge to ride the more than 100km trip last year and joined again this year.
“I’m good friends with Georgie so I thought I’d take part last year. Prior to last year’s ride I hadn’t ridden since I had a BMX,” she said.
“But it was an important cause for me to get behind. Women with ovarian cancer are often diagnosed so late – by the time they find out it’s usually stage three of four – so the prognosis is poor and treatment isn’t that effective for such a late stage.
“Whereas if women are diagnosed at stage one the cancer is usually cut out and that is it.”
Emma said the symptoms at stage one are so subtle, it is difficult to know something is wrong.
“The symptoms are so nondescript, typically bloating and uncomfort, and a lot of women think ovarian cancer can be detected through a pap smear, but that’s not the case.
“I have nursed a lot of women who have died from ovarian cancer so I come at this ride understanding the poor outcomes for patients.”
For more information on the Silver Lining Ride for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation or to donate visit ocrf.com.au