Cancer sufferer’s ride comes to Deni
Michael van Ewijk will ride 100km for each decade he’s been alive as part of a charity mission.
The 700km ride will start in Balranald on September 24, include an overnight stay in Deniliquin on day two, and finish in Wagga by October 3.
Throughout the ride, Mr van Ewijk will be fundraising for the Leukaemia Foundation’s WMozzies IWMF/LLS Strategic Research Roadmap Initiative.
The initiative specifically focuses on Waldenstro¨m’s macroglobulinemia (WM), which is a rare and incurable form of blood cancer that typically affects older adults.
It is among the diseases with the lowest levels of funding research.
Mr van Ewijk — who is based in Milton on the NSW south coast and turned 70 in April — was diagnosed with the cancer in 2005.
‘‘It’s a cancer few people have heard of, as only about five people per million are diagnosed each year,’’ he said.
‘‘I have lived with this lymphoma for 15 years. My journey with WM has been a bit of a roller coaster ride.
‘‘My first encounter with chemotherapy in 2011 offered a short remission, but subsequent attempts at chemo left me intractable to this type of treatment.
‘‘Fortunately I was able to get onto the innovate trial at Concord Hospital in 2014, for a new drug from the US called Ibrutinib.
‘‘Unlike chemotherapy Ibrutinib is a targeted therapy and doesn’t have the adverse side effects of chemo.’’
While living with WM, Mr van Ewijk said maintaining his passion for cycling was important.
In that time he has participated in a number of cancer fundraising rides, beginning with the MS ride Wollongong in 2007.
He rode at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide in 2009 where he raised money for WM research.
Since then he has completed the three day 580km Smiling For Smiddy cancer ride in Brisbane with his son Flyn in 2012, and the Lymphoma Australia’s Parliament House Canberra to the Opera House Sydney ride in 2015.
The route from Balranald to Wagga will offer a trip down memory lane for Mr van Ewijk’s partner and ride support person Elizabeth Muntz, who grew up in the Birrego district and attended school in Narrandera and Wagga.
‘‘The plan is to set out from Balranald on September 24, arriving in Narrandera somewhere around September 29 and 30, and then finish in Wagga about October 3,’’ Mr van Ewijk said.
‘‘These dates will depend on when days need to be taken.’’
Ride days are as follows:
● Balranald to Moulamein
● Moulamein to Deniliquin
● Deniliquin to Jerilderie
● Jerilderie to Boree Creek
● Narrandera to Griffith
● Griffith to Narrandera
● Narrandera to Wagga
Mr van Ewijk has so far raised $7000 for the WMozzies IWMF/LLS Strategic Research Roadmap Initiative.
To donate, go to www.celebrateleukaemiafoundation.everydayhero.com/au/michael-s-700km-cancerride.
■ Seventy year-old cancer sufferer Michael van Ewijk is embarking on a 700km charity ride which will include a stop in Deniliquin.