Thursday 28th April and its the final night before tour starts for 2016.
The tour nerves have kicked in as normal and my eagerness to hit the road is running high.
This will be the first time I have left for tour from my home town in Brisbane and its a very different feeling. I havent had to fly interstate and check into a hotel with 200 other team members. I also get to spend the final night with my family and wake up in my own bed. :)
Tonights dinner was at the Queensland Cricketers Club at the Gabba. Wow, What a room full of people! There will be over 220 team members on tour this year. I have no idea how the logistics team manage to organise where everyone needs to be at all times of the day, but it just happens. It boggles my mind every year and the number of people on tour are only growing. It just shows how much dedication and time go into driving Tour de Cure to be the amazing organisation it is today.
So, my bag is packed, my training is done, my fundraising is sitting at about $14,500 and my bike is ready to roll with its new pink and blue colour scheme...
Tour Dedication for 2016
As you know, My family have a history of cancer on my Dads side and this has been one of my biggest motivations to be part of the Tour de Cure family. However, my Mums side of the family also have a history of cancer. You may remember my dedication to my Uncle Gordon (who we lost to prostate cancer) for the 2014 Victorian tour.
You can read Uncle Gordons Dedication here: Click Here.
Uncle Gordon's brother (Trevor) has a battle story of his own. Uncle Trevor lost his Grandfather to prostate cancer and 3 of his sons (Trevor's Uncles) also died from Prostate cancer. Trevor's Mother died from bowel cancer and the list goes on.
Over the past 10 years or so, Trevor has visited his GP for a blood test every 6 months. The usual checks of Cholesterol, diabetes, PSA (for prostate), etc. In January 2014 the GP noticed that the PSA readings were increasing and he suggested that Trevor see a Neurologist. The Neurologist ordered an MRI and a CAT scan to be done right away. The results had come back positive for prostate cancer. Although this was not the news anyone wanted to hear, the cancer was confined to the prostate and had not spread to any other parts of his body.
Trevor's options from here were, 1. Remove the prostate completely. 2. Have a course of chemotherapy. 3. Dont do anything and see if he would outlive the cancer. Although some people in this situation might need to go home and think about their next move, Trevor said to the doctor, "I dont have to think about it, when can I be operated on to have it removed?". Trevor was booked in for a Prostatectomy the following week. He went home and told his family (His 2 daughters and 2 Brothers) what was happening.
When the surgeon was operating, he found that Trevor's prostate was too close to his bladder and unfortunately the surgery was going to be too dangerous to continue and the operation had to aborted. In the morning, the surgeon had to give Trevor the bad news that the cancer was still there. The option to have radiation treatment was still available and this would help remove the cancer by shrinkage. Prior to the radiation, he would have to have another operation to scrape some of the cancer out from the centre of the prostate to minimise the amount to remove through radiation. After his second operation, he took daily trips to the Newcastle Mater Hospital for 7 weeks to receive his radiation treatment. Trevor now goes to see the Oncology Professor in Newcastle every 6 months and thankfully this cancer is now in remission.
Not long after all this had taken place, Trevor had a melanoma on his head that needed to be surgically removed. Another operation was needed. The surgeon removed the melanoma but was unable to get all the roots that were traveling to Trevor's brain. This then meant that Trevor would have to have another round of 20 daily trips to the Mater for intense radiation treatment. This has now also been given the all clear.
In Trevor's words, "The treatment or the equipment that was used would not be available without people like Tour de Cure who give their time and their talents to raise the much needed money for cancer research. They certainly do a great job and the money raised is channelled in many directions. I would say without hesitation that, had the cancer not been diagnosed and the equipment not been available, I would definitely not be cured."
Uncle Trevor has been a big supporter of the things I have done with Tour de Cure over the years and he has also gone on to personally raise $6,000 in November of 2014, by growing a moustache as part of 'Movember'.
I have many wonderful memories growing up, visiting my Uncles, Aunties and Cousins and I plan on having many, many more great times together. They recently met Harvey for the first time over the Easter holidays and I cant wait to see them again along the tour route in Hawkes Nest when we ride though.
Family is a MASSIVE reason why I continue to ride for Tour de Cure. I know they are going to play a BIG part in helping find a cure for cancer.
My 2016 Signature Tour is dedicated to my Uncle Trevor.