This team is a group of 27 riders around Australia who have one dream this year. That is to complete the Grand Slam of Ride To Conquer Cancer.
And for many, they have added Auckland as well. Not me, I am only focussing on the Australian rides. Logistically, Auckland just seems too hard. I don't have a passport and $300 to get one is better in Peter Mac's pocket.
For us 27 riders to raise the money to qualify, we have had to focus on corporate donations. We need over $400K to cover the required sum of $2500 for each ride, plus flights and accommodation. If we don't raise the money - we don't ride. Simple.
For me, just trying to find the time, energy, focus and commitment to raise $2500 is tough. Add to this $2500 for Mello to qualify for Melbourne, helping where I can so the members of my home team "Fighting Back" can qualify for Melbourne ... then focus on the additional 4 rides I have signed up for ... on top of the other things life throws at me - kids, husband, full time work, housework, cooking, shopping, school council president duties, homework, pets, family, friends ..... me?? OK - any wonder I am exhausted all of the time. So to now increase my personal fundraising to $12,500 with the prospect that I need $2500 in 7 weeks is very daunting. Plus air fairs and accommodation ... oh boy. Honestly - if I am going to cough up money for 4 air flights, I'd much rather that be for a family holiday.
To be honest, I was relying on the corporate sponsorship and donations to come through just so I could complete this dream of mine. I knew that it was my only true way of achieving what I really wanted to do. I knew that without the corporate sponsorship and donations, I can only really look at completing the Melbourne Ride to Conquer Cancer this year.
Am I disappointed. No. Maybe. Yes.
No - because I have raised awareness and funds that are needed for Cancer Research. And I have my team - Fighting Back who I will be riding with here in Melbourne.
Maybe - we sign up to these things knowing at the end of it, we get to actually do what we set out to do. So not to do that is disappointing.
Yes - Yes, because this is called Ride to Conquer Cancer. I want to ride!!!
Anyway, I digress - as always :)
A team member of Vision Crusaders - Dani has started her own campaign. It is to invite Richard Branson to ride with her if she gets 1 million likes on a picture.
As a team member, I have been asked to support this campaign by getting others to participate in the #richardbransonproject .... basically getting people to hold a sign up as ask Richard to ride with Dani.
BUT - I couldn't care less if Richard Branson rides with us. Honest - yep, that is me. In fact, I would prefer he didn't. This is a personal journey and the last thing I want is some media circus around to capture Richard Branson ... what about the hard work the rest of us do?
What I care about is if he has $400k to donate to help with Cancer Research. I ask myself, if Richard Branson rocked up to Brisbane or any of the other capital cities with a bike to ride with Dani, would I be there to see it? Answer is, only if I had raised $2500 to be there. Yes, he would bring a media. Yes, he would create attention. Yes, he will make Vision Crusaders more visable. But would that result in money donated to cancer research? I can't answer that. And wouldn't he rather donate $400K to a UK based Cancer Research Centre?
So, no, I don't care if Richard rides with us. I only care about raising money. I only care about treatments being available to people who need it. Real people. Like the people I ride for.
All of the faces you see above are faces that have been touched by Cancer. Directly or indirectly - their life has changed because of Cancer. And for too many of them, their life has ended because of Cancer. I ride for these people and all the people they represent. I ride to raise money in their honour. So do I care if Richard Branson rides with me? No. I only care if he brings a bag full of money.
Dear Richard Branson,
Instead of flying all the way to Australia and riding with Dani ... how about flicking a spare $400K our way so we can all do what means more to us than anything ... riding for those close to us who have been touched by Cancer. I am sure Dani won't be disappointed by that.