While cycling 1300km in nine days would be an unthinkable task for many, Mark Forrester is willing to take on the challenge to raise funds and awareness for cancer.
Having grown up in Shepparton before relocating overseas to pursue a career, Mr Forrester has put his life in Dubai on hold for nine days while returning to Australia to participate in the 2019 Tour De Cure.
Tour De Cure was started in 2007 by three friends who wished to bring about a change and help to find a cure for cancer.
In that time the event has grown to raise more than $40million, it has funded 322 cancer projects, has achieved 24 significant cancer breakthroughs and has helped to raise awareness about cancer prevention among more than 100000 school children across Australia.
This year’s ride will see more than 150 cyclists clip in their cleats and brave the 1300km journey from Sydney to Geelong.
Having completed the first 136km stretch on Friday, participants were set to ride 140km today from Kiama to Goulburn.
Mr Forrester, who will be participating in the ride for the first time, said it was his way of contributing to a cause that was close to his heart.
Having lost loved ones to cancer and attended a cancer clinic along with his father who also battled cancer, Mr Forrester said he was aware of just how many people were affected by the disease.
‘‘It was a real shock to see how many people are affected by it,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s the individuals, but there’s also the family networks.’’
With that awareness in mind, he said he was willing to do what he could to help see the number of cancer patients diminish.
‘‘If I am able to help in some small way to find a cure for cancer and eliminate the heartache and suffering that this disease burdens us with, then it’s the right thing to do.’’
Mr Forrester said while he knew the ride was going to be physically challenging, he was feeling mentally prepared and privileged to be on board.
Cyclists will also visit numerous schools and communities to raise further awareness along the way.
Mr Forrester encouraged people to give generously, knowing the money would be going towards a worthy cause.
‘‘Regardless of the amount — it all makes a difference,’’ he said.
To follow Mr Forrester on his fundraising journey go to the Cash for Cancer Cure Facebook page or to donate go to www.tourdecure.com.au