It’s operation payback

Source: Sunday Times Newspaper – page 48

FOR Eric Maddock, this week’s 600km South West Bike Trek is all about “payback”.

Western Australia’s premier charity bike ride is back for its l8th chapter, with l5 riders set to make the journey from Perth to Augusta in a bid to raise $40,000 for the Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation.

Maddock, 71, the event’s co­ordinator and a CLCRF mem­ber, has cycled the trek for the past 12 years on a personal quest to say thank you. His great-niece, Jade, was di­agnosed with leukaemia at the age of four. Now l7 and in remis­sion, Mr Maddock said the treat­ment and support she received left him with an overwhelming sense of wanting to “pay it back.”

“Through some new drugs and treatment she is now 17. So this is my way of paying back,” he said.

“The doctors did so much to help Jade and it is so wonderful to see her loving life now.

“Originally childhood cancer research focussed on treatment and survival rate but now it also focuses on treating the individu­al and the type of cancer they have. That means the side effects of the treatment are less and they have a lot better quality of life.

“There are lots of other fam­ilies out there going through the same thing, so why not help?”

The ride will begin today at Sir James Mitchell Park on the South Perth Foreshore with rid­ers travelling across some of the most spectacular roads in WA before winding up in Augusta on Saturday.

Australia has one of the high­est incidences of childhood can­cer worldwide, with 600 children diagnosed every year. CLCRF has been raising funds for research into childhood can­cers for over 40 years and is committed to ensuring ground­breaking research into child­hood cancer can continue so that future generations can live cancer free.

The South West Bike Trek has raised $700,000 for CLCRF with the help of local Lions and Rotary clubs.
This year, South West Bike Trek organisers are calling for the public to “adopt a rider” in an effort to assist the fundraising efforts of the 15 cyclists who have signed up for the challenge. Due to COVID-19 severely impact­ing the riders’ ability to fun­draise, schools are also being encouraged to support riders by holding gold coin donation days.

“If someone rides four to five times-a-week, they would be able to do it,” he said.

“We don’t bolt along, we cruise at 20-25km an hour and we have regular stops along the way.

“People come along on this ride for the first time and at the end of the ride they have all these new friends and they keep saying to me. ‘I can’t wait to do this again next year’.”

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