Bik­ers go pink for char­ity can­cer ride

The Horowhenua Mail - - FRONT PAGE - KELVIN TEIXEIRA

‘‘You're fight­ing some­thing that is very real, but that you don't fully un­der­stand what your body is go­ing through.’’

Two-time can­cer sur­vivor Lea Lav­ery hopped on a mo­tor­bike for the first time in nearly a year on Sun­day, af­ter what she de­scribed as ‘‘a tough ride’’.

She and her part­ner Chris Rid­del­rode in the an­nual Welling­ton Pink Rib­bon Ride from Pe­tone to Rau­mati Beach, or­gan­ised by the Women’s In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor­cy­cle As­so­ci­a­tion’s to raise aware­ness and funds for the Breast Can­cer Foun­da­tion.

Rid­ing their cus­tom 1987 Har­ley-Davidson Sport­ster, they joined a con­voy of about 250 ‘‘pinked out’’ mo­tor­bikes, rang­ing from 50cc scoot­ers to 2000cc cruis­ers.

Lav­ery first over­came the dis­ease nearly 25 years ago af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with cer­vi­cal can­cer.

Then, in late 2012, she was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer. She en­dured a mas­tec­tomy, nine months of chemo­ther­apy and daily ra­dio­ther­apy, fol­lowed by a breast re­con­struc­tion.

How­ever, it was not can­cer but two brain bleeds last Jan­uary that kept her off the bike for nearly a year.

It was a ‘‘tough ride’’, she said. ‘‘You’re fight­ing some­thing that is very real, but that you don’t fully un­der­stand what your body is go­ing through. Your emo­tions are all over the place.’’

Can­cer-free now for nearly four years, she said she was cer­tainly look­ing for­ward to the fiveyear mile­stone late next year, at which time a ‘‘big party’’ would be held, with num­bers buoyed by fel- low mem­bers of the Para­pa­raumu-based Twin Cam Mo­tor­cy­cles So­cial Club.

Sun­day’s event was the 14th an­niver­sary of the Welling­ton Pink Rib­bon Ride, with the num- ber of par­tic­i­pat­ing bikes grow­ing from just 20 to about 300 in re­cent years.

Co-or­di­nat­ing team mem­ber Viv Green said Sun­day morn­ing’s wet weather would prob­a­bly have kept away some, but there was still an ‘‘amaz­ing dis­play of ca­ma­raderie and sup­port’’.

‘‘Peo­ple come from all around the re­gion, of­ten be­cause of their own con­nec­tion to this dis­ease.’’

Since the in­au­gu­ral ride in 2004, Women’s In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor­cy­cle As­so­ci­a­tion (WIMA) had raised more than $100,000 for Breast Can­cer Foun­da­tion NZ through its Auck­land and Welling­ton events.

Sun­day’s Welling­ton riders raised just over $4000 on the day.

Foun­da­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Evan­gelia Hen­der­son said it was one of her favourite events.

‘‘It al­ways cre­ates such an amaz­ing at­mos­phere that brings to­gether women, men and fam­i­lies. We so ap­pre­ci­ate the money and aware­ness WIMA raises for us each year.’’


Can­cer sur­vivor Lea Lav­ery rode pil­lion with part­ner Chris Rid­del dur­ing the Pink Rib­bon Ride. Lea Lav­ery

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