11 January 2017
After years of helping with Ride for a reason, blood cancer survivor and Cancer Council SA Ambassador Peter Montesi, is back to ride for a second time.
In January 2011, the Montesi family were shocked with his diagnosis of Myeloma, a type of blood cancer which develops from plasma cells in the bone marrow.
Peter Montesi noticed he was feeling tired, lacked motivation, had bone pain, and knew something wasn’t ‘quite right’ in the last few months of 2010.
“I had gone off some foods, most tasted really salty or really sweet and wasn’t enjoying my occasional glass of wine at night,” he said.
“When the pain worsened I had an x-ray which showed I had four cracked ribs, some with lesions on them, and one rib in my back was missing and completely deconstructed by a tumour.”
Peter chose to have a stem cell transplant after six weeks on steroid medication Dexamethasone and three months on Thalidomide.
“I had an ok response but 100 days later had a second stem cell transplant, followed by chemo treatment,” he said.
“Now almost six years later I am on maintenance therapy, consisting of a cocktail of tablets and chemo…it is a massive part of my life.”
An avid rider, Peter was inspired to contribute to Cancer Council SA’s Ride for a reason, to improve his wellbeing both physically and emotionally, and help raise critical funds.
Although his health has challenged his participation in the past, in the last five years he has committed himself to helping riders raise money and prepare physically.
Last year, Peter rode in Ride for a reason for the first time, and in 2017 he will return again.
On Friday 20 January, over 550 people will Ride for a reason in the Bupa Challenge Tour, to support South Australian’s affected by cancer.
Ride for a reason is free to sign-up for anyone riding in the 2017 Bupa Challenge Tour, a ride open to the public, as part of the Santos Tour Down Under, starting in Norwood and finishing in Campbelltown.
Participants don’t have to be a pro to Ride for a reason and can make their ride count by fundraising to assist the 1 in 2 Australians who will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85.
In 2017, Peter will be riding the 111km course, which begins in Birdwood and finishes in Campbelltown.
“I would have loved to ride the 157 km but felt I would physically be pushing myself too far, I want to enjoy the ride and take in the great atmosphere this event is known for.”
Peter has been passionate about cycling for the past 40 years, including 19 years of competitive riding.
“I have spent time in Europe during the 1980’s road racing…have won multiple state championships in South Australia…and represented Australia in 1990 at the world mountain bike cross-country championships in Colorado US,” he said.
His main methods of fundraising include the use of social media and emails, and his fundraising goal is ever increasing.
“I have committed myself to raise $1000, I am hoping I will reach this goal quickly and then I will raise my target to $1500, then all going well up it again to $2000,” he added.
“I really want to beat my previous year’s amount raised of $2400, I have a bit to go but I’ll continue to push on.”
Peter recommends Ride for a reason, especially for those who are enthusiastic cyclists.
“No matter how young or old you are, what a great excuse to get out on the bike and enjoy the great company of likeminded people, and best of all a chance to raise money to help others whom are on their own cancer journey,” he said.
In 2017, Ride for a reason hopes to raise over $500,000 to ensure the efforts of Cancer Council are continued to be felt community wide.
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 around the course on the day and help join the fight.
To register for ride for a reason, visit rideforareason.com.au or phone 1300 65 65 85.