Cy­clists to ride for char­ity

Eastern Courier - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - LIU CHEN

A fa­ther and his teenager daugh­ter were steadily ped­alling on their mounted wind train­ers for three hours last Satur­day at Botany Town Cen­tre.

The duo, Orakei res­i­dents David and Brodie Tokios, hit the tar­mac for real very soon when start­ing the cy­cling Tour of New Zealand in the South Is­land.

They were at the town cen­tre train­ing for the 700-kilo­me­tre chal­lenge, and more im­por­tantly ful­fill­ing their com­mit­ment to raise funds for Neu­roen­docrine tu­mours (NETs) char­ity, the Uni­corn Foun­da­tion.

They’ve col­lected more than $6000, and to­gether with an­other team mem­ber Mike Pol­lok, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ri­coh NZ, which spon­sors them, they’ve raised over $24,000.

‘‘For the sup­port­ers who had al­ready given to me, I just want to say ‘thanks so much for help­ing’,’’ David Tokios says.

With his wife suf­fer­ing from a brain tu­mour and await­ing surgery, he un­der­stands the dif­fi­cul­ties fac­ing fam­i­lies that are fight­ing against can­cer.

One New Zealan­der is di­ag­nosed with NETs ev­ery day and the near­est spe­cial­ist treat­ment is in Mel­bourne.

Pa­tients have to self-fund the $50,000 med­i­cal costs, which can cause huge stress for suf­fer­ers and their fam­i­lies, ac­cord­ing to the Uni­corn Foun­da­tion.

Rid­ing at Botany Town Cen­tre was a great chance to meet new peo­ple and gen­er­ate pub­lic aware- ness, Tokios says.

‘‘It’s amaz­ing to see so many peo­ple com­ing up and talk to us. Many are af­fected by can­cer. It’s some­thing that is very close to many peo­ple’s hearts.

‘‘By giv­ing to the Uni­corn Foun­da­tion, you’ll be able to help peo­ple that are suf­fer­ing from those can­cers.’’

David and Brodie have been rais­ing funds at the town cen­tre and West­field St Lukes dur­ing week­ends since early March and re­turn to Botany Town Cen­tre to­mor­row be­fore set­ting off on the jour­ney.

Ded­i­cated to rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing the way that NETs are di­ag­nosed and man­aged in New Zealand, Uni­corn is ap­pre­cia­tive of what the fam­ily is do­ing.

‘‘Dave and Brodie are truly in­spi­ra­tional,’’ the char­ity’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Siob­han Con­roy says.

‘‘We can’t thank them enough for help­ing to build aware­ness about who we are and what we are try­ing to achieve, es­pe­cially when they have so much go­ing on in their own lives.’’

SUP­PLIED

Uni­corn Foun­da­tion New Zealand chief ex­ec­u­tive Siob­han Con­roy (left) with David and Brodie Tokios at Botany Town Cen­tre on March 18.

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