Parramatta cancer survivor wants to cycle to help others

Ride for a cause: Lara Witchard is required to raise a minimum of $2500 in donations to take part in the Ride to Conquer Cancer event for cancer research. She is in training for the 200th fund-raising ride. Picture: Natalie Roberts

Ride for a cause: Lara Witchard is required to raise a minimum of $2500 in donations to take part in the Ride to Conquer Cancer event for cancer research. She is in training for the 200th fund-raising ride. Picture: Natalie Roberts

Cancer survivor and self-confessed ‘‘pocket rocket’’ Lara Witchard will participate in the 2014 Ride to Conquer Cancer fund-raiser.

The Parramatta resident, 28, will cycle 200 kilometres on October 11 and 12 alongside thousands of other participants through scenic countryside  to raise funds to support the in-patient care program at the Chris O’Brien Life House in Sydney.

Her bid to raise funds for cancer research  is also a celebration of her life as a cancer survivor — a journey which has turned her world upside down.

‘‘I was 23 years old when I was diagnosed with my first cancer, stage 2 level 2 melanoma,’’ she said.

‘‘To hear the word cancer come out of my mouth was a tough reality.’’

She had three surgeries, had to rest her leg for several months for the muscle to heal then did several months of physical therapy with personal trainers.

‘‘After six months of recovery the cancer reappeared on my cervix. I was 25-years-old,’’ she said.

Figures show that one in two Australian men and one in three Australian women are diagnosed with cancer before age 85.

Ms Witchard the fund-raising was about helping someone who was ‘‘down and out’’

‘‘Cancer might not be something you wake up with, it might not be something you see every day, but it is to someone out there, and they need our help,’’ she said.

‘‘For the price of a standard drink at a bar, you can help the medical world find better ways of fighting the big C.’’

The Ride is on October 11 and 12.

■ You can help Lara Witchard reach her $2500 goal by donating to her at Ride to Conquer Cancer. Previous Ride to Conquer Cancer campaigns in NSW raised more than $9.8 million for the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse cancer research.

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