Thursday, June 4, 2015

Two birthdays and a Tour.....

Many of you have sent lovely messages on Facebook asking where my latest blog is; well it has been a very positive and busy month. All is well with me and I have scans in a week. But feel great, very fit and healthy at the moment. Obviously scanaxiety will kick in with scans in a week…..and this is something that I can’t seem to avoid.

As I have always said celebrations with family and seeing my girls grow up is the most precious time for me. In the past month we have had two of our girls birthdays. Ariella turned 8 and enjoyed her mermaid party. This was held at a local pool the girls had a splashing time! 
Ariella and her Best friend share the same birthday month.

Lisa and Ariella with the amazing cake.

Zahlia our youngest and full of energy child, celebrated her fourth birthday in May. The theme was ‘Doctor McStuffins’. My mum came dressed as Dr. McStuffins. Zahlia like her, older sister loved her party too. Lisa did, as she always does, did an unbelievable job making the cake and keeping the theme going.

My mum and Zahlia (Dr. McSuffins)

The girls and their cousin
Kalita our middle child will have her birthday next month. It never seems to stop….but I will never complain….seeing them grow up and develop into wonderful young children.

Kalita in the middle
As for rest of the time in the past month it has been eventful here's what happened…..:

Lisa, the girls and I headed to Adelaide, on 22nd April to begin the Tour de Cure ride that I had raised $39,000 for and trained hard for to be in the best level of fitness I could be in.  Thanks to those who donated and supported my fundraising. To my mate Matty, for training with me over the past three months.

We drove over on the 21st April and had a pleasant comfortable drive.  As you can see the girls watched a few DVD’s along the way. (Thank Goodness for blue tooth headphones)

Departing Melbourne

The gear and ready to go. 

Tiny Motel Room night one. 
DVD with headphones....God send.


Lisa and the girls. Lisa stopped here when she was about the Ariella's age with her Cabbage Patch Doll. 
Hence the photo above. 
We stopped in Nhill for an over night sleep… was the smallest hotel room ever. The photo will give more detail.
We arrived in Adelaide the next day…..I collected my gear and met the TDC crew I was about to ride with for the next 9 days.

With 120+ riders and 40-support crew we all left on Adelaide Oval to Victor Harbour for Day One (24th April).

Peloton Roll out. 

I won’t outline each day…..but the first two days we had horrendous weather, rain, sleet, wind, very cold and dangerous conditions.

Lisa and the girls followed the group all the way from day one to day eight in the warmth and comfort of the car. It was great to have them on board.  They enjoyed mixing with the riders and had an amazing time….Lisa probably had the hardest job of all of us involved on the tour…..packing each day and driving with the girls to cheering spots or lunch stops etc. It was so great to see the family at these spots to give us a cheer and smile.

Channel 7 followed the full tour and with Mark Beretta and James Tobin (members of the Ch:7 Sunrise Show) on board gave us a very fantastic exposure on the media front, (there will be a documentary of the Tour aired at the end of the year)…I’ll keep you posted.

Lisa and the girls met many people along the Tour and one person they bonded with was Alicia from Channel 7 Media. She was so warm and welcoming, giving the girls as much attention as she could when she could. The camera and sound crew were also amazing.

Each town we stopped at we had a community dinner with and donated $10000 to a cancer group or organisation in that particular town. It was so humbling to see how the money fundraised went to so many significant areas of cancer.

Small World...went to school with Jamie's younger brother
Tour De Cure has been up and running for the past 9 years, one of the days the riders and support crew were lucky enough to receive a lovely blue jersey to acknowledge the remarkable efforts the TDC organisation have accomplished over this time. The jersey was labelled with ‘13 break throughs for Cancer, Funded 200 cancer projects’.

I met some phenomenal people all with different stories to be on this tour. All of whom I found inspiring and very generous of their time.

Overall the ride was probably the best thing I have ever done in all I have completed in my sporting triumphs and personally the best thing to have done, besides my family.

To achieve this ride of 9 days, 1340km and over 3500m of climbing was something I cannot begin to explain to people……almost three years ago I was unable to walk, talk and function like a normal person. Three brain tumors, bowel tumors and the unknown of where to from here. Life was looking grim….my ultimate goal back in 2012 was not to ride, but was to just live, see my girls grow up and enjoy them. Now two and half years on……I completed a huge feat….and raised money for cancer with the help of others. To achieve this with my family on board was probably the major accomplishment of all.

There have been many highlights that have been locked in my memory bank from this Tour. The best aspect, which had me in tears was arriving into Albert Park to my family.  

I made many connections with like-minded people (cyclists and support crew)

This movie will only give you a small snippet in to what has been the best thing to happen from being diagnosed with cancer-melanoma……Positive things can occur from having cancer.



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