Group to take on 620km cycle tour to raise R3 million for cancer treatment and multiple sclerosis

This group of cyclists will take on a grueling 620km cycle tour to raise funds for cancer treatment and multiple sclerosis. Photo: Reza Kootbodiem

This group of cyclists will take on a grueling 620km cycle tour to raise funds for cancer treatment and multiple sclerosis. Photo: Reza Kootbodiem

Published Nov 29, 2022


Cape Town – A group of 33 cyclists from Cape Town is suiting up to take on the Wheel to Heal cycle tour from Mossel Bay to Cape Town.

The tour takes place from December 3 until December 11 with a route of 620km.

The aim of the cycle tour is to raise R3 million in funds for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and multiple sclerosis.

In preparation for the tour, the group has subjected themselves to a gruelling regime of training in preparation for the long journey which will take them through Oudtshoorn, Calitzdorp, Ladismith, Barrydale, Montague, Worcester and Paarl.

As they pass through the towns, the group of cyclists will be distributing food hampers to the most vulnerable as they create awareness around cancer and multiple sclerosis.

According to Dr Elias Parker, the convenor of the event, one of the key messages of the campaign is to prioritise early detection of these illnesses.

He said this intervention is important because it helps to significantly reduce the threat of life and improves the chances to a better quality of life.

According to Parker, the National Cancer Registry (NCR) estimates almost 110 000 new cases of cancer was diagnosed in South Africa in 2020.

Of this, more than 56 000 cancer-related deaths were recorded.

The NCR said South Africa’s incident rate of 22.5 cases per 100 000 women for cervical cancer is above the global rate of 15.8 per 100 000.

It further stated women in rural areas were more affected than those residing in urban areas.

The mortality rate in rural areas were also recorded as higher and this has been due to a lack of health education and proper healthcare services.

The inspiration behind the Wheel to Heal event is Dr Parker’s late wife, Mariam, who lost her battle to cancer in July 2018 after two years.

To honour the memory of his late wife, Parker reached out to cyclists as well as cancer survivors and members of the broader community.

One of the survivors is now retired judge from the Western Cape High Court, Siraj Desai.

Desai was also the keynote speaker during the media launch of the cycle tour in September.

He also lost his wife to cancer in March 2018, and emphasised the importance of early detection and education surrounding the treatment of cancer and living with the disease.

Desai also encouraged taking on the responsibility to reach out to those in poor communities to assist them in their fight against cancer.

“It is not only about the money, but also about an advanced consciousness of what cancer and multiple sclerosis are all about,” Desai said.

All funds raise during this tour will be donated to key beneficiaries namely the oncology department at the Groote Schuur Hospital and Pink Drive.

Anyone wanting to assist in the form of donations can do so by making a direct depositing to the Wheel to Heal bank account.

Bank: Albaraka Bank

Account number: 786000320395