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Fundraising Events & Projects

A Bicycle for Cancer & R200 000 for CANSA

8 March 2017 – Marijon van Zyl writes about Gerda Smith, her mother, and her incredible tribute to a friend fighting cancer & how this dear friend inspired her to get back on her bicycle with a renewed zest for life – 1 400 km on a bicycle from Carletonville to CPT, with her fellow cyclists, raising an amazing R200 000 for CANSA and patient care & support:

Gerda Smith

I will never forget the heart-break in my mother’s voice the day she told me her friend has cancer. My mom said that it was at stage 4 and that even though her friend was a nurse she never noticed the signs. She had to go for an immediate breast augmentation and started with chemo as soon as possible. Everyday my mom would go and visit her. Such a positive and inspiring woman was mom’s feedback.

A couple of months later my mom phoned again and said the cancer has spread to her brain. My mom bursting into tears, while trying to explain how hopeful and strong her friend is, “She just keeps fighting, there is nothing that a doctor can tell her to bring her down. She will keep fighting and continues with treatment.”

In this time my mom wasn’t doing too well herself. For me it seemed like mom was getting old. Depressed, not exercising like she used to. It seemed like life has just drained her. Every time she would visit her friend she would say. “I have nothing to complain about, my friend is going through the worst thing possible and she has faith like a child.”

My mom loved to exercise and her favourite was taking her bicycle on the road. After she had a bad fall years ago, she had to have back surgery and suffers from arthritis. Her fingers have gotten to a point where the pain is unbearable and she can’t bend or straighten them. All of these factors caused her to stop with the exercising.

Seeing what her friend was going through she decided to start exercising again.

She contacted her old biking friends and joined her old gang with their bicycles. This lifted mom’s spirit dramatically. This group of bikers were planning a trip that they usually do from Carletonville to Cape Town (South-Africa). This year they where doing it for cancer Survivors and to raise awareness of cancer.

There is not a day that goes by that my mom doesn’t visit her friend. Every time she says how lucky she is and that she has nothing to complain about. Her friend is such an inspiration to her.

This inspired mom to decide she is doing this trip on her bicycle and that she is dedicating it to her friend – 1 400 km on a bicycle.

Just so you know mom turned 60 on this trip!

There was not a day that she gave up. The group of 14 bikers raised over R200 000 for CANSA.

1 400 km on your bicycle, I don’t know about you but I stand in awe! You have to have so much endurance to do that. I take my hat off to these bikers.

I wish I could tell you that after they finished their trip that my mom’s friend made a miracle recovery. But she is still fighting her cancer battle.

We don’t know what the reasons are when these type of tragedies come into our lives. What I can tell you though is that my mom’s friend has healed her. She has made mom the strong woman I know her to be.

She has given my mom the strength to do this trip.

Marion’s Full story:

View Carletonville to CPT 2017 Facebook


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