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52 cyclists and road crew left Cairns on Sunday 2 May embarking on the 15th annual Far North Queensland Smiddy Challenge, in support of cancer research for Mater Hospital.
For the first time in the event’s history the 660kmfive-day ride will take place through the iconic Far North Queensland region including Cairns, Port Douglas, the Daintree, Cape Tribulation and the Atherton Tablelands.
The Smiling for Smiddy ride was founded in the name of triathlete Adam Smiddy who passed away in 2006 at the age of 26 after a short and aggressive battle with melanoma.
Mater Foundation Director Corporate and Community Engagement Rowan Foster was a good friend of Adam Smiddy and is passionate about seeing Adam’s legacy live on through the ride.
“Smiddy riders are like a family and together we ride in memory of our mate Adam and for all people who are touched by cancer, now and in the future,” Rowan said.
“Last year we sadly had to cancel the event due to the pandemic, but we are so pleased to be back on the road and we have 52 riders who are excited to ride through the region for the first time.
“We can’t thank the North Queensland community enough for supporting us this year and helping us push the limits to raise more funds for cancer research at Mater Hospital.”
Melanoma researcher Professor Brian Gabrielli from Mater Research will also be competing in the ride for the third time and said skin cancer in Australia is rising and more needs to be done to raise both awareness and funds.
“It seems the messages of sun safety have not been heeded and people are not taking appropriate action to ensure they are practicing sun safe behaviour,” Brian said.
“I believe this year is more important than ever to raise awareness of cancer as through the pandemic as people have not been engaging with their healthcare providers and screening services.
“Tragically, we are seeing people being diagnosed with cancer in the later stages of the disease making it harder to treat. It is imperative that we turn this trend around.”
Since 2006, Smiling for Smiddy has raised over $10 million for world-class research projects at Mater Research in areas of melanoma, prostate, breast and ovarian cancers.
To find out more or donate visit https://mater.li/SmilingforSmiddy
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