A healthy dose of cycling helped cancer survivor Hendrik Theron overcome the disease he was diagnosed with more than ten years ago.
The general practitioner, who survived malignant melanoma, is an avid cyclist and will line up for the 20th Cycle4Cansa Championship at Sun City on Sunday.
“I always enter the race because a part of the income goes to helping people who are sick with cancer and I see it as an opportunity to give back,” said Theron, who has entered Sunday’s road race with his two sons and one of their girlfriends.
They will join more than 5 000 other riders who are expected to line up for the 70km and 103km road races alone.
The 55-year-old said he had continued to cycle despite being diagnosed with the most aggressive and life-threatening form of skin cancer in 2004.
“I continued to cycle on a regular basis. It’s good for your immune system, which, with a tumour like melanoma, is very important because it’s basically your immune system that has to fight the cancer.
“It was also a way to escape mentally from my day-to-day work stresses.”
The Brits resident said his first cycle race had been the Cape Town Cycle Tour in 2001. Hooked, he continued to cycle and has ridden most of the country’s big mass participation races, including a handful of Cycle4Cansa events.
After a quieter winter season, the 55-year-old said he didn’t have any time goals and would just be focusing on battling through the expected blustery conditions.
“I have not had a good winter exercise programme, so I don’t have any goals for the race. I’ll just be going to enjoy it.”
Theron said he liked taking part in the two-day Cycle4Cansa event every year to support the organisers’ fundraising efforts in aid of the Cancer Association of South Africa.
In addition to the traditional R10 donation per entrant going to Cansa, this year, participants will also have an opportunity to challenge anyone else to match their entry fee in the form of a donation to Cansa as part of the #WeCAN campaign.