RIDER

STORIES

meet our champions

Everyone who rides, volunteers or fundraises for this event is a hero and each has a story on why supporting cancer research at the Perkins matters.

Meet a few of the champions from the MACA Cancer 200 Community.

"Even while I was going through my seventh cycle of chemo I was determined to complete the Ride."

nic wilson

Team Westpac Retail

A trip to the doctor for a check-up felt like nothing to worry about. I was an active and healthy man. But when I mentioned that I had been passing blood recently, I underwent further testing including a colonoscopy and was given the shocking news, “You have bowel cancer”.

I was floored.

What followed were tears, sleepless nights and surgery that removed 25% of my bowel. Thankfully, my cancer was confined to my bowel however the surgery led to a complication where I couldn’t eat for over a week. I was also told to prepare for six months of treatment and eight rounds of chemotherapy.

What they say is true, chemo is rough. Blistered feet, brain fog and new side effects appeared during each cycle. It meant I had to stop my life as I knew it, including my fast-paced job. I frustratingly took a leave of absence, but my gorgeous wife Megan helped me through those hard days, she become my rock through my treatment.

My family and friends, including my Ride teammates were just incredible. The support I received from all of them helped me to keep going and kept me focussed on still completing the Ride.

It was my challenge that I not let cancer beat me. It’s such an unfair disease and I know now how vitally important it is to raise funds for research at the Perkins. 

The Ride brings out the best in people and I am hooked. I will be riding every single year that I am physically able to. I finished my last round in November 2023 and I’ll be at the starting line this October for my third Ride.

sam rowe

Liebherr

I completed my first ride in 2022 at the age of 34, the same age my best friend Tahu was when he passed away from Glioblastoma. He was also a husband and father to two small boys.

When I moved to New Zealand, He was my first friend. He took me in like a brother and made me feel so welcomed with his family. There was nothing I wouldn’t do for Tahu. So, when he was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, I felt like a zombie trying to come to terms with this horrific news. It was so unfair.

As the effects of his cancer started to take hold, his friends and I did what we could to help him - like renovations around the house, cooking meals and spending time with his sons and wife Jo, just to ease their burden a little. 

When Tahu passed, my perspective on life had completely changed. I now felt the ticking clock of life more and wanted to do all I could to give myself and those I love the best chance at leading long, happy lives.

Many in my family are nurses so I’ve always seen the positive impact medical research can do for people, and how amazing those in the medical field are in WA. That’s why I ride for the Perkins. I know the money raised will go back into finding a breakthrough that could help not just with cancer but other diseases too.

I’ve never been part of a more emotionally charged event. I love sharing the weekend with other riders who have gone through their own similar experiences. It’s why I re-registered for the next year before dinner on Saturday night. It’s also an amazing feeling coming home across the finish line on Sunday and knowing what I have achieved. Tahu would be proud.

"I truly believe the Perkins and WA have the capability to make at least one form of cancer non-lethal in my lifetime."

"While the Ride can be hard, it is nowhere as hard as suffering with a diagnosis of cancer or going through chemo."

lynda guy

Team Swick

I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone. I’ve seen how devastating it is to not just to the person but to everyone around them who loves them. I know because my stepdad Paddy died five years ago from stomach cancer and we still feel the loss today.

He should still be with us to sit at the table at family dinners, to tell us about the recent travels and places he explored with Mum. He should have been there, smiling proudly, in the family photos from my daughter’s recent wedding.

When he was diagnosed with cancer he never complained. Even while suffering with a lot of pain and going through chemo. Unfortunately, his cancer was too evasive and the treatment was ineffective. Throughout it all my mum dedicated herself to making sure he was looked after, but there is nothing worse in life than having to look at a loved one and feel completely useless.

Paddy was eventually given six months and while his condition declined rapidly, his outlook was always upbeat. He even knew when he was ready to go, sending mum off to dinner with her friends, to save her the heartache of being with him when he passed. 

So even when my team moans about how hard riding 200km is, we always show up. Because we each believe cancer research must continue so that researchers can make people’s lives more bearable and hopefully find a cure.

MICHAEL WATTERS

team MAMILS

I ride with Team MAMILS and each year they give me the motivation to reach further in my training and my fundraising. We keep each other positive and light even when times might be challenging. 

It’s the same sense of fun I bring each year to the Ride that I did for my daughter while she was going through cancer treatment for leukemia. 

When she was a young child, she started to get bruising all over. Her mum and I figured it was from child’s play. Just to be safe Mum took her to the GP for a checkup and was sent off for a blood test and ultrasound on her spleen. 

A phone call from the GP told us to go straight to PMH, bypass emergency and head to Ward Three. More ominously, we were told to stay off Google. 

In my gut I felt something was terribly wrong and it was confirmed when we were told that it wasn’t “if” she had cancer but “what type".

Our little girl who had just been playing with friends at daycare now had to be admitted into hospital and immediately start chemotherapy. I felt so numb as I stayed by her bedside, or listlessly walked the hallways in the middle of the night trying to make sense of it all. I decided, that given my daughter would react to how we were feeling, I would do all I could to remain positive through her treatment.

Today she is a confident teenage young lady who is more resilient than most, who shares my dark sense of humour. I’m so grateful that she has done so well but I don’t want anyone else to feel the pain of a child going through cancer. That’s why I ride every year because I see the impact my fundraising has in continuing the tireless cancer research at the Perkins.

"I live in hope that one breakthrough in one area will snowball into finding cures for other areas."

DO YOU HAVE A STORY THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE?

Get in touch with us via ride@perkins.org.au