Scottish cyclist 65-year-old Steve Taylor cycled into Parkes on August 31 as part of his 2222 kilometre Ride2Cure Neuroblastoma tour from Brisbane to Adelaide.
Aiming to generate awareness of childhood cancer neuroblastoma – and with an ultimate goal of raising $100,000 for the cause – Mr Taylor passed through town before heading to Wagga, aiming to reach Adelaide before September 14.
Mr Taylor said it wasn’t until he turned 60 in 2013 that he became aware of some local children suffering from neuroblastoma and decided to start fundraising for the cause.
Neuroblastoma is the most common solid tumour of childhood, usually originating in the abdomen and almost exclusively affecting children aged zero to five years.
“It’s cancer of the nervous system predominately in those under 5, but the common age of diagnosis is two, which is why the distance I’m riding has lots of two’s in it,” Mr Taylor said.
Currently only 50 per cent of children diagnosed with aggressive neuroblastoma will survive and those who do are often left with significant long term side affects from their toxic treatment.
Mr Taylor who is visiting Australia for the first time said there is currently no cure, and when Neuroblastoma asked him to do a charity ride 18 months ago it took him a millisecond to decide.
He said at 64-years of age he was unsure how his body would react to the workload, but was continuing to average 120 kilometres a day.
“I always feel the pressure of having to do the same again tomorrow and I’ll keep feeling that pressure until it’s over,” Mr Taylor said.
“We’ll be half way in only 8 days and we’d scheduled to do it in 20, so we are literally smashing it out of the park,” he said.
Mr Taylor thanked his support driver Paul Gablonski for his support throughout the journey.
“I’m lucky he’s taken all this time out to look after me because it’s been a big job for him with road trains on the road, its hard work for him to keep me safe,” Mr Taylor said.
“People have been fantastic, everywhere we’ve gone people have been so hospitable and so interested.”
Funds raised will go to registered charity Neuroblastoma Australia, which finances dedicated research projects through the Children’s Cancer Institute and other research institutes.
To follow Mr Taylor’s journey or to donate follow the Ride2Cure Instagram page or visit ride2cure.org.au