Posted by Vince Costantino on Oct 17, 2019
The participants in the Annual South-West Bike Ride to Support the Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation were hosted by the Rotary Club of Pinjarra on Monday 14th October.
Some thirty (riders and their support crew) participants attended a barbeque at the Pinjarra Bowling and Recreation Clubrooms.
Rotary Club of Pinjarra President Vince Costantino welcomed the riders, Rotary Club members and other guests. It is the custom for Club meetings to begin with a song, and on this occasion, Songmaster Don McClements led the singers in a fine rendition of "Daisy, Daisy". (For those interested, here is a link to a, shall we say, more melodious rendition of the song! ).
Following the meal Vince thanked the Pinjarra Bowling Club ladies and bar staff for their help and support. He also extended the thanks of the Rotary Club of Pinjarra to those who have donated the many salad and sweet dishes which have complemented our meal. A huge thank you to all!!

A raffle was conducted for three prizes; a pack of local produce, and bottles of a local wine. The raffle winners were John Winter; (whose tickets were drawn twice but gracefully passed the 2nd prize for redraw), Kevin Pollard and Eric Maddock. A Sergeants session followed which saw many guests fleeced for a variety of real and imagined mis-demeanors.

President Vince introduced Eric Maddock to the meeting, and he provided an overview of the Rotary South-West Ride for Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation.

The annual ride has now been running for 17 years, and has raised more than $700,000 during that time.  The riders travel from the City, to Pinjarra, and, then over a number of days, make their way to the town of Augusta. Last year's ride raised $36500.  Participants pay a fee to join the ride, and a variety of organisations such as the Rotary Club of Pinjarra offer support by hosting the riders at the end of each riding day. All money raised goes direct to the Foundation, including from the support crew volunteers who  pay their own expenses. A link to the Foundation's website gives an overview of the ride to be undertaken.( )

Huge advances are being made in the treatment of childhood Leukaemia. One of the more significant practical advances relates to trialling different treatment regimes, which are being shown to greatly reduce the ongoing side effects the treatment causes the patient. Eric mentioned a young lady who had to undergo stem cell treatment as well as lung and kidney transplant procedures following side effects caused by the treatment she had received to treat her cancer when first diagnosed as a child. She underwent these subsequent procedures while still at the tender age of 27 years.
The research has lead to the development of improved treatment methods which are now mitigating some debilitating side effects. However, the research needs to continue as the "holy grail" of research (that is, to find a cure) has not been attained. The South-West Ride for Leukaemia is a great Rotary-inspired project which has, and is continuing to make, a significant contribution enabling the Foundation's work to be ongoing.

Unfortunately, there are still approximately 350 children diagnosed each year in Australia with a childhood cancer, with 80 of these cases occuring in Western Australia. Think on that; that is around three cases a fortnight.
Rotary Club of Pinjarra Past-President Kevin Pollard proposed a vote of thanks to Eric for his informative talk, and presented him with a wine glass as a momento of the occasion.
President Vince indicated to the meeting that the Rotary Club of Pinjarra will be donating the monies raised from this evening's raffle and Sergeant's session, along with a further amount, to the Foundation.
For more information regarding the Leukaemia and Childhood Cancer Research Foundation, please refer to their website: