flag riders

Riding with Hope 

A very special group of riders are those who proudly bear a yellow flag on their bikes.

These riders have faced cancer head-on, either in the past or currently, and they are unwavering in their dedication to raising funds to find the next breakthrough. Each year we invite yellow flag riders to be the first to lead out the cycling pack on the morning of Ride weekend to recognise their remarkable effort.

Meet a few of our 2023 yellow flaggers and Ride Ambassadors.

Kym Menzies

Team MACA 2023

“I'm determined to complete the Ride.”

In 2015, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Despite surgeries and treatments, the cancer spread to my right lung and resulted in Transverse Myelitis causing paraplegia. The doctors gave me five years, but I plan on surpassing their expectations. I have unfinished business, including participating in the Ride.

Last year, my wife Jan and I planned to ride for the first time, but I ended up in the hospital due to a loss of leg sensation. My condition worsened, leading to an emergency bowel operation that saved my life. However, the ongoing effects of Transverse Myelitis did mean I would spend the next five and a half months in hospital.

 Through the support of my family and the wonderful care by the staff at Fiona Stanley Hospital and Joondalup Health Campus I am now home and looking forward to the Ride. I'm now relearning how to walk and perform daily tasks. It's a struggle, but I'm resilient. This year, with my lovely Jan by my side, I'm determined to complete the Ride and join my fellow riders.

Gary Rowles

Team Captain, Bush Bikers

“I wouldn’t be here without medical research.”

I survived prostate cancer and I know that’s because of research. It’s why I joined the Ride in 2018 with my team the Bush Bikers. Because it’s only through ongoing medical research that we can beat this disease. My team changes each year yet for each member, cancer has touched all our families. I sadly lost my Dad, teammate Damien’s wife successfully battled ovarian cancer and Neil’s wife Teresa lost both of her parents at a young age. This needs to stop. Riding in the Cancer 200 is a way to mobilise the community to support vital funding for WA cancer research.

Each member has their own cancer story to tell, and being a small community team and firm friends, we have supported each other throughout our journeys. The Ride is our way of not letting cancer win by making sure Perkins researchers can reduce the impact of treatments and increase survival rates. It’s also a fantastic weekend. It’s incredibly well-organised, fun and we cherish the camaraderie between the riders as we share the highs and lows.

Nicky Copper

Team Ride My Wheel

Cancer has given me so much courage.”

After years of my sister asking me to get a pap smear, I went in January 2019.

I then went on my planned months long holiday to Europe. On my return there was a letter waiting for me was a letter to contact the doctor to discuss the results. I was told the pap smear had yielded abnormal results. Several weeks later after a colposcopy and biopsy, the results came back, and my life abruptly changed.

I was numb but when I had to tell my partner, parents and sister, it became devastatingly real.

My partner and I asked my doctors if we could try for a baby, but unfortunately, time was not on our side, and I had to undergo a radical hysterectomy. But doing that meant I was spared chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Thankfully in February, I received all clear, but the trauma remains. The surgery, four years of anxiety and the impact this disease had on my loved ones linger, but cancer has also given me courage. I have switched careers to something that gives me joy and I am even completing my first Ironman this year!

I am riding because more than anything, I want to raise awareness of the importance of cancer research and cancer screening. My cancer allows me to have important conversations with friends, family and colleagues. And by joining the ride, it’s a way to give back to the research that I have so benefitted from.

Bec Lawry

Team Perkins

I want to show my girls nothing is impossible if you put your mind it.

I am a first-time rider. I had a friend who is a veteran rider and I thought what they were doing was great. My low iron levels revealed that I had colon cancer in 2020. I couldn’t believe it. I was 33 with a young family and the thought of the journey ahead terrified me.

My treatment has been tough. It’s included a peritonectomy and HIPEC chemo along with all the scans and a year of immunotherapy. A subsequent second peritonectomy found that my cancer has now spread extensively.

My life is now in stasis as I continue to fight against the cancer and the side effects of my treatment. Frustratingly this has also meant I am unable to work which has been very hard to accept.

I decided to join the Ride for myself and my family. I want to show my girls that nothing is impossible, and Mum’s going to fight this awful disease the best she can.

It’s my hope that I can raise awareness and money for cancer research so that others may not go through this awful disease. Every little bit counts, and I’m determined to get out there and join other riders on Ride weekend.

want to acknowledge your journey?

Are you a rider who has experienced cancer? We warmly invite you to acknowledge your journey and fight by riding with a yellow flag. 

The yellow flag symbolises your fight with cancer and how many years you have fought this disease. As a yellow flagger you will also receive a yellow lapel pin that you may proudly wear on Ride weekend and beyond. 

Most importantly, you will be invited to lead riders out of Optus Stadium to begin the MACA Cancer 200 Ride alongside other yellow flag riders. If you would like to recognise yourself as a yellow flag rider and cancer champion, click on the button below and send us a message.