Fund-raising focus is below the belt

On the road to fighting cancer: Michael Sonneveld, his dad Tony Sonneveld and event founder Simon Clarke hope the inaugural Below the Belt bike ride will become an annual event nationwide. Picture: Geoff Jones

On the road to fighting cancer: Michael Sonneveld, his dad Tony Sonneveld and event founder Simon Clarke hope the inaugural Below the Belt bike ride will become an annual event nationwide. Picture: Geoff Jones

MORE men died of prostate cancer than women did of breast cancer last year.

It's hoped an inaugural bike ride in Eastern Creek will increase awareness and help find a cure for prostate, bladder, testicular and kidney cancers.

Bike riders are urged to form teams of up to eight for the Below the Belt Pedalthon, a four-hour challenge to be held at Sydney Motorsport Park on September 16.

Proceeds go to the Australia New Zealand Urogenital Prostate (ANZUP) Cancer Trials Group.

Seven Hills North cancer survivor Tony Sonneveld has formed Team Termimesh Sydney with his two sons, son-in-law and other friends.

Diagnosed in 2003, he is the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia NSW board chairman and a ANZUP consumer advisory panel member.

His father and father-in-law died of prostate cancer in 1992.

Mr Sonneveld was told eight years ago on his 60th birthday his cancer was advanced.

"I didn't expect to still be here today," he said. "Since then, I've done everything I can to raise awareness. Every day, I pack everything in like there's no tomorrow."

He encouraged locals to join the 15-20 teams already registered.

"I don't know anyone who hasn't had a relative, friend or colleague affected by one of the different types of cancers," Mr Sonneveld said.

"We need to find a cure and more mechanisms for patients to live with cancer so they lead full and productive lives."

Event founder Simon Clarke, 25, is in remission for testicular cancer.

"It made me take a step back and and think how I could give back," he said. "I hope to ride with every team on the day as a thank-you."

About $60,000 has already been raised towards the $150,000 goal.

Below the Belt Pedalthon is on September 16, 9am-1pm at Sydney Motorsport

Park, Eastern Creek. Teams of four to eight riders will complete as many laps in four hours. Each rider needs to raise a minimum of $500.Riders will be

given a morning meal as well as a post-race barbecue. Details:belowthebeltpedalthon.org.au.

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