Riding out for cancer

2014-09-12 00:00

FORMER television presenter Janie du Plessis will be leading a band of biker women into the province on a cancer awareness drive.

The 2 600 km journey will see over 22 motorcycles and over 30 survivors trek from Johannesburg to Durban through Piet Retief on a 10-day pilgrimage, stopping at schools, clubs and communities to talk about the “shy” cancers — like breast, testicular, prostate, colon and cervical.

It is being driven by the non-profit organisation Cancer.vive.

Du Plessis, the organisation’s CEO, said cancer changed how she viewed the world.

“Cancer was a moment that made me realise I needed to start over in my life if I wanted to survive. I returned from living abroad, divorced my husband and started a new career at the age of 40.”

The ride, now in its fourth year, has attracted South African celebrities and has seen the organisation cover large tracts of the country.

“I’ve been riding a motorbike all my life. I am a cancer survivor and about eight years ago I joined a group of ladies who wanted to create breast cancer awareness by riding their bikes through the country. After a few years, a group of us decided to break away and start Cancer.vive, a special project of the organisation People Living with Cancer (PLWC),” said Du Plessis.

She said central to the theme of motorbikes is that it is “visual” and captures the “imagination of the audiences”.

The ride will start on September 25, ending at the Valley of 1000 Hills, Botha’s Hill, on ­October 4.

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