Mater People ride to raise funds for cancer

21/Feb/2024     FoundationMater Group

For Mater Private Hospital Brisbane orthopaedic surgeon Nicola Ward, taking part in the Smiling for Smiddy Challenge cycling event is all about celebrating community. 

"It’s an annual event held in memory of Adam Smiddy, a kind-hearted physiotherapist and triathlete who tragically passed away from an aggressive melanoma at the young age of 26,” Dr Ward said. 

The 670-kilometre event, to be in South Australia next month, raises funds for melanoma, prostate, breast and ovarian cancer research at Mater, 

Dr Ward, of Kangaroo Point, said her team, The Pedalling Princesses, was part of a larger group of about 25 Mater People who rode together every Tuesday and Wednesday and who have signed up for this year’s charity ride. 

“These weekly rides are now part of our training routine,” she said. 

“Most people in this part of the world have been touched by melanoma in some way, so it is great to come together, share stories, and add to more than $13 million that has been raised since the event started in 2006. 

“At the end of the day’s riding, we all get into a huddle and people share their personal cancer-connection stories and there’s not a dry eye in the house.” 

More than $100,000 has already been raised for this year’s event, with several weeks to go before it kicks off on 19 March. 

About 70 cyclists will ride through South Australia’s most picturesque countryside, with the event concluding on 23 March. 

Dr Ward said the adventure passed through internationally acclaimed wine regions, stunning coastlines, and rolling valleys. 

“The course is designed by Smiling for Smiddy ambassador Annette ‘Nettie’ Edmondson, a three-time world champion, Olympian, and assistant Tour Down Under race director, so you know it’s going to be special,” she said. 

You can learn more about Smiling for Smiddy events here and make donations here

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