Cancer.vive riders bring awareness, hope

ride2---textThe provinces of Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga will be covered on the 1 995km journey undertaken by the riders. (Image: Cancer.vive)

What better way to get first-hand experience of beating cancer than from a cancer survivor? The fifth annual Cancer.vive Awareness Ride brings you this experience.

Over 65 cancer survivors aim to get people in the provinces of Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga talking about cancer as they embark on a 1 995km ride, stopping in towns along the route to educate residents about how to detect cancer at an early stage, and how to get appropriate treatment.

routeThe journey undertaken will proceed as pictured.(Image: Cancer.vive)

The Cancer.vive Awareness Ride is a project of People Living with Cancer. The latter was established in 2002 by Carl Liebenberg and Linda Greeff, both of whom are cancer survivors, to provide a national support structure for people living with cancer, cancer survivors and their families.

Janie du Plessis, chief executive of People Living with Cancer, explained the thinking behind the organisation, saying to SA Goodnews: “Being diagnosed with cancer has an enormous impact on your life. We aim to make people diagnosed feel that they are not alone, and let them know that many cancers have a very high survival rate if caught early enough.

“We also don’t leave them without support, but connect them to Cancer Buddies, a project that assists patients and their families through diagnosis and treatment.”

Spar and Revlon are the main sponsors of the ride, with Triumph, Caltex, Imperial Ford and Mazda, Meadow Feeds and Netcare 911 also contributing to the cause.

“Spar is proud to once again be involved as sponsors of this vital cause,” said Helen Barrett, Spar group advertising and promotions manager. “We feel it is of critical importance that more people are made aware of cancer and how to detect the early warning signs.”

Adele du Plessis, Revlon communications manager, said the cosmetics company was honoured to be involved in raising awareness around this cause and the ways and means of beating it. “The sincere dedication of the Cancer.vive team perfectly reflects the core principles of our company,” said Du Plessis.

SURVIVOR DRIVEN PROJECT

The Cancer.vive Awareness Ride is a survivor-driven project that uses performing arts, music, poetry, dance and storytelling to celebrate victory over the disease.

According to the organisation’s website, statistics show more people die of cancer than of Aids-related illness, tuberculosis and malaria combined, and therefore the focus of the rally is to care, support and create awareness.

The ride aims to leave the communities the group has visited with a better understanding of the various “shy” cancers, as they are known, such as breast, prostate, testicle, cervix, ovary, rectal and colon, as well as to establish support structures. After the Cancer.Vive visit, people will be better informed about how to identify the cancer warning signs and care for cancer patients in their midst.

Over the past four years, the rally has entertained, engaged and educated more than 180 000 people through travels over a distance of 10 000km. It has visited eight provinces and shared the message in seven languages.