GYMPIE’S Colin and Joan Turner have been married for 40 years and have thrived on the joys of life and marital bliss.
But a few years ago when Joan was diagnosed with breast cancer, the pair banded together with a steely resolve to fight the disease that invaded their lives with no warning.
Joan endured the arduous ordeal of chemotherapy to fight the cancer and since emerging on the other side of her courageous battle, has resolved to help others in their fight.
She and her husband have since joined the ranks of selfless volunteers that together form the Supporting Chemotherapy in Cooloola (SCIC) support group.
SCIC is at the frontline fighting cancer, offering vital support to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
Watching his wife during her trying battle, Colin decided he wanted to help where he could.
It was this desire to make a difference that saw him get involved in the birth of an annual bike ride to raise funds for the SCIC.
This year, the bike ride is back in its third year and with Bendigo Bank on board, is being called the SCIC Bendigo Bank 2010 Bike Ride.
The bike ride is being held to not only raise the profile of the wonderful contribution SCIC makes to the community, but also to raise critical funds.
Funds raised are going towards a project to build a set of units on land on Everson Road which will eventually be used by chemotherapy patients from outlying regions across the Gympie district.
Joan said enduring chemotherapy was a taxing experience, both emotionally and physically.
And with patients from outlying regions, the additional travel can compound the situation.
“Chemotherapy takes so much out of you and if you are forced to travel for hours to get back home it’s just something else to deal with,” she said.
The idea of the units is to give cancer patients somewhere to stay while undergoing treatment, all within convenient distance from the Gympie Hospital.
Colin said it was project close to his heart.
“It means a lot to me to be able to help out where I can,” he said.
“The units are a great idea and just being able to give people from around the district somewhere to stay while receiving treatment can make such a big difference.”
The bike ride aims to snake its way across the width of the region covered by the Gympie Hospital in delivering chemotherapy treatment to cancer patients.
Kicking off on March 26 and finishing on March 28, the ride will go from Murgon all the way through to Kin Kin before finishing at Cathy House in Tin Can Bay.
At the moment, Colin says he has 10 riders on board but is looking for that number to reach the 20 mark.
Nominations forms to take part can be found at Pedal Power Plus in Mary Street and Gympie Berrings in Monkland Street.
Forms need to be returned to PO Box 54, Gympie, by March 18 and the cost of the ride is $150 – this includes all meals throughout the journey.
Participants need to supply their own bike.
But you don’t have to be a bike rider to get involved. Sponsorship forms are available alongside the nominations forms, so people can let their money do the pedalling.
Colin stopped riding a bike at the age of 16 and took it up again when he turned 60.
He loves the freedom on the road but is excited even more at the prospect of making a difference to cancer patients in the Gympie community.
Get on board to help a cause that directly benefits people from the Gympie district.
Chemotherapy takes so much out of you and if you are forced to travel for hours to get back home it’s just something else to deal with.