Past Highview College student and loved friend Kodie Smith and her family have been deeply affected by cancer. But they aren’t just getting mad, they’re taking on the Great Cycle Challenge. This October, they’re aiming to ride 2,500 km and raise $2,500.00 to support research to find a cure for childhood cancer.
Meet Kodie Smith
Kodie Smith, pictured above right, with her brother Reed.Meet Kodie Smith, 10-time participant in the Energy Breakthrough and passionate rider, support crew and volunteer.
“I’ve just always wanted to be involved and I guess you could say I became ‘addicted’ to it. ‘Addicted’ to the atmosphere, the amazing people, the Presentations and the Trial,” she said.
“But it’s more than just a race: It’s a community of people that you wouldn’t normally be a part of all working in teams who are united towards a common goal.”
“It feels so rewarding to be a part of something so unique that teaches us about improving the environment, teamwork, how to prepare and speak confidently in public and exercise. It’s very hard to sum up what an event like the Energy Breakthrough has done for my self-confidence and self-esteem, but until you experience it yourself you’ll never truly understand.”
But cancer has unfortunately also had a big impact on Kodie’s life …
“My brother, Reed, was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2004 when he was just two years old and underwent three years of harsh and intense chemotherapy,” she said.
“Then in November last year my mum, Narelle, was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and is still undergoing chemo and radiation treatment.”
(Narelle is pictured with Kodie in the HPV in the main photo.)
“When you go through something like cancer, sometimes it’s hard to find your feet in life,” Kodie said.
“When your family is stuck on this seemingly never-ending path cycle of hospitals, doctors, bad news, good news, bad news again – that it’s extremely special to know people out there are thinking of you.”
So, the Highview College team are rallying around Kodie and the fight against kids’ cancer
Team Manager, Luke Treacy, said the Great Cycle Challenge was going to have two benefits for the College:
“Throughout this October each individual in our team has a personal riding goal they are aiming to achieve which will help us get to our team total. The Highview College team has training together every Monday, Wednesday and Sundays,” he said.
“These sessions will not only get us physically ready for the Energy Breakthrough, but also be our major way of clocking up the kilometres for the Great Cycle Challenge,” he said.
In addition, students are also riding to school every day and doing individual rides to help contribute to the team’s total of 2500km, with the kilometres automatically logged and linked to their account using apps like Strava.
.. and what’s the cause?
Cancer is the largest killer of children from disease in Australia with over 600 Australian children diagnosed with cancer every year and sadly, 3 children die every week.
The Great Cycle Challenge started in 2013, and after just 5 years has grown to become one of the biggest public cycling campaigns in Australia, raising $12,280,194 and riding 10,305,632km. To participate, people of all ages, abilities and from every state across the country sign-up online and set themselves a personal riding goal to complete during October to fight kids’ cancer.
Whilst the team from Highview are excited about the upcoming Challenge, they are also keen to make sure others get behind the cause:
“Because the best thing that can come from the Great Cycle Challenge is a world without cancer where all kids are living life, not fighting for it.”