Having lost both family members and close friends to cancer, Wayne Irwin is doing his bit to raise money for cancer research by organising a bike ride in November.
“I was inspired to take action when my brother Dale died from cancer last year because I lost one of my sisters to cancer a few years ago as well. Dale was not only my brother and best mate, he was and still is the finest bloke I have ever known.
He battled cancer for three years and his death affected me very badly. Although my wife, children, grandchildren and friends were all emotionally supportive, I found myself in a dark place and alienating myself from everyone. I desperately needed to redirect my anger toward something else.
Putting all my energy into organising this cancer research bike ride, which I’m calling ‘Beat the Bastard’, is the best thing I could have done. For years, I’ve been an avid motorcyclist so it seemed natural to invite others who share the riding passion to join in. It will be a great way to meet other people including anyone who has lost family and friends to cancer. It also gives people fighting the disease an opportunity to hop on their bikes, knowing that we are supporting them.
The 400-kilometre route includes Gunnedah, Narrabri, Wee Waa and Pilliga. I included Pilliga in the ride route because that’s where I grew up. Pilliga is pretty close to my heart, and my brother’s heart.
I’ve been using contacts in Gunnedah, including my sister Robyn, to get the word out about the ride. A couple of Gunnedah businesses have been absolutely awesome and I’m grateful for the kind-heartedness of people who are offering to help. The campaign is also generating a lot of interest in Brisbane and Sydney through social media. There are people I don’t know and they’re responding about the bike ride – my goal is to get at least 80 participants. The cost for the day is $50 with funds to go towards food and the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.
I honestly believe there’s going to be better treatments found for cancer, and it will happen here in Australia. ACRF has been alongside me in this fundraising effort. They’ve been exceptional in helping me out and giving me some great ideas for organising the ride.
The impact of cancer on my family has been devastating, but ironically the resolve to beat this horrible disease has brought us closer together.” – ACRF supporter, Wayne Irwin
‘Beat the Bastard’ participants will stop in Pilliga for lunch and finish up in Gunnedah for dinner. An auction and raffle will be conducted during the evening with some great prizes available.
For those who can’t take part in the ride, but would like to support it, click here.