Update 7 (Tiaan de Lange)
Sybrandt happens to be my cousin and the family member I spend the most time with. We get along very well and we enjoy the same things, especially cycling. He helped me get into cycling a few years ago and is always keen to join me on an adventure or help me where he can (like coming to my aid when I crashed during a race last year). When he
told me about his cancer, it came as a shock and turned out to be a massive wake up call. I am so grateful to still have him around and I realised that other families affected by cancer would be just be just as grateful to have their loved ones around.
Testicular cancer can be prevented from spreading if detected early enough so it is important to go for check ups.
I hope that I can help the Purple Orchid Project raise awareness of this disease.
I am very excited to be joining POP on the tour down to Durban. It is a great initiative and awesome opportunity which I am proud to be a part of.
Raising awareness whilst riding my bicycle... I can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing with my time!
Update 6 (Dimitrios Psaros - "Jimmy")
My name is Dimitrios Psaros and I am an avid cyclist. I get my fix of cycling either by attending gym spinning classes, social rides over weekends, or competing in cycling road events.
I have been cycling for 8 years, and it all started from a friend of a friend mentioning the 94.7 Cycle Challenge. Curiosity and enthusiasm got the better of me, I entered my first race in 2009, and I have never enjoyed a sport as much. I have participated in 53 road cycling events.
Why do I enjoy cycling so much?
1) For my body
It doesn’t matter what shape you’re in, you can go at your own pace. Exercising is good for one’s health, but cycling is a sport where I can work out with no impact or strain on my knees. It is a cardio workout, I have built strength, endurance and stamina. And what better way to burn off calories by doing it outdoors in nature.
2) For my state of mind
Exercising (cycling for me) is a great stress reliever. Taking my bike out, and hitting the open road, with nothing but me and 2 wheels to take my mind off stress and pressures, works wonders.
3) For my community
I want to do my part in raising awareness, support and funds for a very worthy cause.
This is my way of showing support to cancer survivors, and for my peers to follow an active lifestyle.
Why do I want to ride for CANSA
By being part of the CANSA cycle team, I will have a healthy, active lifestyle, but also participate in local sporting events in the CANSA colours to support a worthwhile cause.
Cancer is a disease that affects a person and their loved ones. I have lost 2
grandparents to cancer, and I have witnessed first-hand the devastating effects
cancer has on a person, and how their loved ones suffer, watching their person
Many researchers have studied the relationship between exercise and cancer, especially colon and breast cancer. Research has shown that if you cycle, the chance of bowel cancer is reduced. Some evidence suggests that regular cycling reduces the risk of breast cancer.
I want to do my part to save the world, raise awareness and funds for CANSA, while having fun doing it!
Update 5 (Hennie)
People who are optimistic believe good things are coming. Optimists are also much happier than those who are fearful about the future. So with this in mind I decided to face life head-on and so when this opportunity presented itself to cycle to Durban to raise funds for testicular cancer research I grabbed it with both hands. Having a larger purpose in life provides meaning, and ultimately, greater happiness.
Update 4 (Miguel)
My first personal encounter with Cancer was when Sybrandt told me about his. I was
completely in awe of his courage and positive outlook; it was like this disease could never be bigger than him. So in line with that spirit of taking on any challenge and never doubting that I’d come out on the other side better and stronger, I joined the POP team for the enormous challenge of riding from Johannesburg to Durban despite not even owing a bicycle, much less riding one for more than 15 minutes. This is about supporting a friend and confirming my own conviction.
Update 3 (Chris)
I am doing this event not to put all eyes on me and people to say wow Chris cycled to Durban in 6 days .
My aim in doing this is to make more people aware of Cancer if it is men woman or kids, I have a soft spot for people suffering from cancer and would really like to help were I can so every km I cycle to Durban and any event i do will be in a positive manner to help raise awareness.
My goal is to not stop after our Durban trip but to carry on even in my everyday life to help people in need.
Update 2 (Haiko)
I have been wanting to do something big and meaningful for charity for a while now, something more than the odd donation or helping out. My Brother in-law and friends rode to Cape town by bicycle as a holiday and adventure experience. Hearing the stories and seeing the pictures of this adventure was inspirational and something I put on my bucket list. In November, last year I was just catching up with my old friend Sybrandt, who I hadn’t seen in a while, and he broke the news that had just had a malignant growth removed and was undergoing chemo. This was a shock and again woke the realisation of how short life is, how cancer affects so many people and how it doesn’t even wait till we old. One of the biggest positives out of this is that it was detected early enough for Syb’s else it could have turned out a lot worse.
So when Syb’s came up with this plan to ride to Durban to raise funds and awareness for Testicular Cancer and early detection I was in straight away.
I have had exposure to a number of charities, sponsors and businesses in the sports industry and supporters of it and hope to help get a good contribution to this great cause.
Participant profiles - Thinus Wentzel
This week we start with the profiles of the participants.
First up is Mr Thinus Wentzel:
I am a 49 year old husband to Adéle, father to Joshua (11) and a teacher by profession. For many years I regarded my health as a given. I only trained when I was too “heavy”, in summer or when felt like it. I easily cancelled a scheduled training session because I was “tired”. My diet just added to my woes and did not do me any favours. Then, last year, I fell off my mountain bike and broke my right hand. Suddenly I was faced with the reality of the loss of the use of a limb, even if only for eight weeks. I could neither write, shake hands nor brush my teeth the way I used to do. This reality had a profound impact on me. It changed my view on life and also my appreciation for the gifts of life and health. As a teacher and a sports coach, I have told countless children to believe in themselves and to persevere. My time to walk the talk has arrived. The Purple Orchid Project will demand no less from me.
I started reclaiming my physical health as soon as the cast came off my wrist. The emotional and spiritual benefits and rewards were astonishing. Although, gratefully so, I have never been diagnosed with any life threatening disease, I do, however, stand in solidarity with those who have had to endure the pain and uncertainty associated with such a claim upon their lives. My colleague recently successfully won the battle against breast cancer. Her faith in her Creator, resilience and strength was awe-inspiring.
So, as I am approaching the big “Five O”, I have decided to celebrate the God-given life and health that I have the privilege of enjoying in dedicating myself to support a most worthy cause- the battle against an illness from which so many of my male brothers suffer silently – Testicular Cancer.
Cycling from Johannesburg to Durban will most certainly not be easy. I have never done anything remotely similar or as intense before. Preparing myself mentally and physically will be a fearfully interesting challenge. This challenge is accompanied by much uncertainty and an innate fear factor. I suspect my brothers face these challenges daily. They, in turn, would argue that failure is not an option. It is a matter of life or death – in so many ways.
This will be a unique journey – pardon the pun. So many friends and family have stepped up to the plate and pledged their support. So many more will be approached. These folk are training me in the art of cycling. They are speaking life into my mind as I doubt myself. They advise and, they quite simply just provide a warm, safe aura as I face my fears. Some will assist financially. I salute them all.
As a spin-off, my son has cottoned on to cycling. Every time I see his 11-year old knees working a rise with perfect cadence, I am inspired. Team work has taken on a new meaning to me.
As part of my preparation I have knocked on a good friend’s door. In his functional fitness gym three words boldly welcomes one– FITTER, FASTER, STRONGER!
My motto for 2017 is simple #FitterFasterStrongerGreatful@50