Cancer tragedy inspires man’s 2000km bike ride mission
WHEN Sam Cooke lost his mum to the scourge on society that is cancer, he was determined to make a difference for those families enduring the pain the disease causes.
The firefighter from Maroochydore, who puts the community first in all his thoughts, decided pedalling 2000km from Brisbane to Cairns was another appropriate way of honouring his mum Gloria's memory, while fundraising.
This afternoon Mr Cooke arrives at Miriam Vale, after leaving Brisbane at the weekend with a peloton of friends.
He sets off tomorrow from Miram Vale, along the Bruce Highway on the 200km pedal to Rockhampton.
Metastatic bladder cancer took Gloria's life, and this is not Sam's first epic journey in the saddle, having raised thousands for cancer research since 2016.
"As part of my challenge I'm aiming to raise $5000 to support the work of Mater Research-Mater's world-class research institute that's investing in some game-changing work into the causes, treatment and prevention of cancer," Mr Cooke said.
Unsupported on the epic journey, Mr Cooke only took what he could carry on the ride.
When COVID-19 resulted in his initial fundraising plans being scuttled, Mr Cooke said he found a worthy partner in QBank.
"The amazing people at QBank have come on board to kick start my fundraising as I launch 'QBank for Cancer', a solo unsupported charity ride by myself taking only what I can fit in my pockets," Mr Cooke said.
"Cancer doesn't stop for a pandemic it's as devastating as ever."
Q-Bank chief executive officer Mike Currie said the bank was proud to be associated with Sam and his fundraising efforts.
"It is an absolute honour to support Sam Cooke as he sets off for the Q-BANK for Cancer Ride," Mr Currie said.
"This 12 day long, 2000km bike ride from Brisbane to Cairns, aims to raise funds towards the research of causes, treatment, and prevention of cancer through the work of Mater Research. "Good luck Sam and thank you for your commitment to such an incredible cause, we look forward to watching your journey."
Initially, Mr Cooke was going to be supported as one of the Smiling for Smiddy riders, but the virus pandemic saw those plans cancelled.
Smiling for Smiddy has raised money for cancer research for more than 14 years.
Adam Smiddy passed away in 2006, after battling an aggressive melanoma.
He was just 26 years old, a talented triathlete and respected physiotherapist.
Since 2006, cyclists have teamed up as Smiling for Smiddy riders raising more than $10 million for cancer research at Mater hospitals, in the areas of melanoma, prostate, breast and ovarian cancers.
So far, Sam has raised $3,328 of his $20,000 goal.
To help him achieve his goal, dig deep and donate at the Mater Smiling for Smiddy website.