Meet keen mountain bike riders Lisa, Nicki and Tonya.
The trio met many years ago when looking for women to ride with and have since formed a solid friendship. All have children and get together weekly to ride in the hills around Kalamunda, WA.
Over the past 5 years, they have enjoyed an annual week away together, which is always a physical and active trip.
After successfully completing the Cape to Cape track in Western Australia in 2021, the group set their sights on the Munda Biddi trail as their challenge for 2022. Stretching over 1000kms from Mundaring to Albany, WA, cyclists can ride various sections of the trail, experiencing some of Western Australia’s most wonderful and diverse terrain including ancient bushland, rolling pastures and wind-shaped coastlines.
But Lisa, Nicki and Tonya opted for the ultimate Munda Bindi experience – riding the complete trail ‘End to End.’
“We knew it was a major step up from previous activities and have been planning since the start of the year” said Tonya
In preparation for the adventure they took on spin classes twice weekly, rode to and from work and rode various parts of the Munda Biddi trail to assess bike set up. “We had lots of challenges trying to fit everything on the bike and riding with the extra weight” she recalls.
After deciding to tackle the entire trail, the group added to their challenge by deciding to raise funds for ANZGOG’s vital gynaecological cancer research.
“My friend Clare has lived with ovarian cancer for more than 7 years.” said Tonya “She and her husband Mark have been an inspiration with their work to promote education of gynaecological cancers and symptoms for women and their partners, through their involvement with ANZGOG's Survivors Teaching Students gynaecological cancer education & awareness program.”
Tonya, a GP, has been friends with Clare for over 25 years. It was Tonya who eventually diagnosed Clare with ovarian cancer, after Clare spent 8 months searching for answers to her health concerns under the care of another GP.
“As an ovarian cancer patient who has had the opportunity to be on a trial in the past and is now desperately in need of a trial at this stage to stay alive, there is no charity more important than one that provides trials.” said Clare. “We can have charities providing all manners of wonderful support, but without trials there is no hope. There is so much more research required. Research is the only way forward. Tonya asked me for my advice on which ovarian cancer charity the girls should support. It had to be ANZGOG!”
Having now returned, the trio have had time to reflect on their time on the Munda Bindi track. The highights - “Finishing in darkness one night with kangaroos leaping about as we had taken a wrong turn,” as well as reflecting on what they have achieved.
“We are still a bit in shock that we managed to complete the trail - especially in the 14 days. We all doubted ourselves at times but we grew stronger as time went on.” said Tonya “We hope we have raised awareness as well as funds (for ANZGOG’s research) but also proving that although hard, challenges can be overcome” said Tonya “We are not athletes but just average women in their 50s - except Nicki who is a youngster in her 40s!”
With thanks to these amazing fundraisers and their supporters, Lisa, Nicki and Tonya have now raised over $6200 for ANZGOG’s gynaecological cancer research.
“We are incredibly grateful for Tonya, Nicki, Lisa and all their sponsors for their contribution to this much needed fund raising and highlighting ovarian and gynaecological cancers.
Thank you for giving us hope.” said Clare
By coming together as a community, we can give more women access to the ground-breaking clinical trials that they urgently need for a chance of survival. Please give today to help women like Clare to live longer, better lives.
Get Involved! WomenCan would love to hear from others like Tonya, Lisa and Nicki who are keen to host their own fundraising activity. For more information, contact Jane Galloway at WomenCan at email@example.com