11 January 2016
“It was in the last 20km of last year’s Bupa Challenge Tour when I noticed I had suddenly hit a ‘brick wall’.”
This abnormality prompted Belinda Bramley—an avid cyclist, non-smoker and a participant in the Tour since its inception—to visit her GP and receive a diagnosis that would drastically change the course of her life.
“I said to my sister that I didn’t know what was wrong with me,” she said.
“Four weeks later, I was diagnosed with throat cancer—it was a complete shock.”
After an intensive bout of chemo and radiation therapy, Ms Bramley is determined to prove her cancer’s defeat and will ride the full 138km of Stage 4 of the Santos Tour Down Under in Cancer Council’s Ride for a reason.
“We were always Riding for a reason to support Cancer Council; but for 2016, it will be a very personal achievement.
“I am now nine months post-treatment and in remission.
“I realised how important improving cancer treatment and providing options was for all those going through the effects of cancer,” she added.
Cancer Council SA Chief Executive, Lincoln Size, applauded Ms Bramley on her bravery throughout her battle with the disease, and reiterated the necessity of raising critical funds for cancer research.
“We are so grateful to have people like Belinda, who have gone through so much, participate in events such as Ride for a reason in hope that one day we will beat cancer,” Mr Size said.
“She is an inspiration and I know her family will be so proud to see her participate in an emotional ride.
“Belinda will have a direct impact on the prevention and support services we offer, while contributing to cancer research which has saved approximately 61,000 lives over the past 20 years.”
Ms Bramley, who co-founded a prominent women’s cycling group in Adelaide (Skinny Lattes Women’s Cycling Club) said she will ride with support of these women, one of which is her sister.
“Our goal is to improve options for women in cycling and I love riding with the group and my sister,” she said.
While looking forward to the ride, Ms Bramley highlights the challenge of regaining her fitness after losing 15 kilograms during her battle with the disease.
“I’m training to get my fitness back and provide sufficient nutrition to fuel the muscle recovery I need.
“I’m slowly putting the weight back on.”
In 2016, Ride for a reason hopes to see in excess of 600 participants raise over $500,000 to ensure the efforts of Cancer Council are continued to be felt throughout the community.
Look out for Cancer Council SA volunteers dressed in yellow at all stages of the Tour, offering free sunscreen.
If you’re not already supporting Ride for a reason, you can also make a donation to our volunteers and help join the fight.
To register simply go to rideforareason.com.au and make sure to also register at www.tourdownunder.com.au.