2017 Ambassador


Ronnie Martyn is born and bred in Goondiwindi and spent his working life on the land in cattle and cotton. A hard working man, Ronnie enjoyed life with his partner Michelle with their seven daughters. Life changed in May 2016 when a severe pain in the groin caused Ronnie to visit his doctor. A CT scan found Ronnie had a perforated bowel and cancer of the bowel and liver. Ronnie was transferred to Toowoomba Base Hospital where the infection was treated but this was not successful so Ronnie was taken to the PA Hospital in Brisbane where he underwent an emergency operation by Surgeon Joanne Dale. Ronnie credits Doctor Joanne Dale with saving his life that night. Ronnie survived major surgery but the prognosis was not good - terminal stage 4 cancer of the liver. Speaking to Ronnie you are stuck by his generosity and gentleness as stresses how grateful he is to all the doctors and nurses that have treated him since his diagnosis and for the support and friendship of the staff at the Olive McMahon Lodge. Ronnie has undergone more than 20 chemotherapy treatments and each treatment has involved coming to Toowoomba and staying in the Olive McMahon Lodge. “I have a special thankyou to Jo and Alyse at the Olive McMahon Lodge as I don’t know what I would do without the lodge, the girls are like family to me and my family. We had two days last Christmas at the Lodge and the girls put on a fantastic lunch and the ladies drove my kids around at night to see the Christmas lights and took them to Queens Park for an ice cream. I will never forget it”, remembers Ronnie. As the 2017 Cruise for Cancer Ambassador Ronnie knows how sharing your story with others can really make a difference, “I will never forget a lady I met here at the Olive McMahon Lodge who was in her 80’s and has beaten cancer twice , the look on her face when she told me to be positive I will never forget. To me she is a legend”. Ronnie would especially like to thank Doctor Timothy Slack and Surgeon Joanne Dale at the PA Hospital and a special thanks to the oncology doctor at Toowoomba Base Hospital Doctor B Karki and to all the nursing staff at both hospitals. Those who know Ronnie think he’s a legend too! We are grateful to Ronnie for his generosity in sharing his personal story with us. We are so proud to have Ronnie as our Cruise for Cancer Ambassador this year. Ronnie and his family will be joining us on this year’s Cruise on 27th August and we hope you can join us too.


2016 Ambassador


Queenslanders under the age of 35 are more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma cancers than any other Australians, a 2016 report from Cancer Council Queensland has revealed. Melanoma Cancer is a major concern for rural Queenslanders, with south-west regional Queensland having the highest incidence of the deadly cancer in the world. Well known Toowoomba man Mark Copland credits his wife Amber with saving his life. Three years ago he was diagnosed with a melanoma after his wife noticed a mole on Mr Copland's back had changed in appearance. A cancer diagnosis is a life changing experience for everyone and it was no difference for Mark.

"Realising the mortality of the situation, you feel like you're bullet-proof and they're just freckles" he said. "As soon as we found out is was not benign, I had it surgically removed." "Your back is one of those places you don't look at. I would have never seen it before it was too late." "She saved my life." Since Mr Copland's brush with cancer, he gets his skin checked twice a year. "It's scary having three young sons and knowing the statistics" he said.

"If you are directly related to somebody who has been diagnosed with a melanoma you are fifty percent more likely of developing the disease. And that's without going in the sun! It is the number one form of cancer that young people are diagnosed with;.

Minimise Risk of Melanoma

* Cover up when outdoors wear protective clothing, hat, UV protective sunglasses and UPF 50+ sunscreen.

* Know your skin - check your skin every month, it takes just 10 minutes


2014 Ambassador


The Rotary Club of Toowoomba City and Darling Downs Harley Owners Group 13th annual Cruise for Cancer has named Billy Whittle as our "Face of the Ride" for 2014. 

Billy was diagnosed with ANAPLASTIC T-CELL LYMPHOMA OF THE SKIN in August 2013 after surgeries to remove a large, fast growing sore.  Initially, it was believed to be an arthropod bite. Billy was correctly diagnosed after his second operation.  This form of Lymphoma is presenting on the skin causing large, fast growing sores that appeared to double in size every couple of days.  The Lymphoma is rare and aggressive and Billy’s form was atypical compared to other cases. Radiation of multiple sites occurred in September 2013 as sores kept appearing.  Then a course of chemotherapy tablets ensued until December.  On Boxing Day, due to the appearance of still more sores, Billy was to start a course of CHOP intravenous chemotherapy on his first day of Year 12, this year.  Billy was strong and continued to attend school throughout the chemotherapy process with only 14 days away from school for the first term. Billy kept himself busy and we, as a family tried to keep everything as “normal” as possible. He is healthy and the power of the mind and mental strength to endure is the key.

 


Read the full article here


2013 AMBASSADOR


"Businessman John Wagner continues to tell his own story about prostate cancer in a bid to raise the veil of secrecy surrounding the disease. Prostate cancer is the nation's most common cancer with more than 19,000 cases a year diagnosed, but Mr Wagner beleives more men can be saved if we just talked more about the disease. (Link to the full article above)

The Rotary Club of Toowoomba City and Darling Downs Harley Owners Group 12th annual Cruise for Cancer is highlighting Prostate Cancer in 2013. Local cancer survivor and businessman John Wagner has been named "Face of the Ride" for 2103. 

Mr Wagner hopes that by sharing his own story about Prostate Cancer he will raise awareness of Prostate Cancer and help raise the veil of secrecy surrounding this disease.

Prostate Cancer is the nation's most common cancer with more thank 19,000 cases a year diagnosed, but Mr Wagner believes more men can be saved if we just talk more about the disease. 

 

Since the event’s inception in 2002, the annual ride has raised in excess of $200,000 to support Queenslanders affected by cancer.

 

Rotary Club of Toowoomba City and Cruise for Cancer Committee President Chris Watt said he encouraged local Harley-Davidson enthusiasts to register and take part in the 2013 Cruise for Cancer.

 

“This is a unique opportunity for the community to have some fun with friends while making a difference in the fight against cancer,” he said.

 

“Thanks to the Toowoomba community’s continued generosity and support of the Cruise for Cancer, we have been able to improve the support available for local cancer patients.

 

“Funds raised from this event will contribute to Cancer Research and to the Toowoomba Accommodation and Support Lodge, which has provided a home-away-from home, at no cost, for South-West Queensland cancer patients having to relocate to the city for treatment.

 

“The Cruise for Cancer has become an anticipated event on the Toowoomba charity calendar and I would encourage everyone to do what they can to help make the 12th annual event a roaring success.”

 

You can support the event by registering to take part in the ride as a passenger or supporter or by sponsoring those who are riding.

 

Registration costs $120 to ride pillion on the back of a Harley-Davidson motorbike for up to three hours, a Cruise for Cancer T-shirt and a delicious morning tea and lunch.

 

Family and friends can register to come along in the supporter’s bus on the day.

 

This year’s ride will be pass through the Eastern Downs region, with a morning tea stop, and finish at Queens Park in Toowoomba for lunch.

 

Over the past eleven years, the Cruise has provided a day of fun, laughter and good company with over 100 roaring Harleys.


2012 AMBASSADOR


“Wendy Clague (centre) with Susan Hickey from Qld Cancer (left) and Merrianne Black President of the Rotary Club of Towoomba City.”

The Rotary Club of Toowoomba City and Darling Downs Harley Owners Group 11th annual Cruise for Cancer is promising to be even bigger and better than last year’s event, scheduled to be held on August 26 2012.

 

This year’s event will see more than 100 riders from across South-West Queensland take to the open road through the Eastern Downs region in the hope of raising more than $20,000 for vital cancer research, education programs and patient support services.

 

Since the event’s inception in 2002, the annual ride has raised in excess of $150,000 to support Queenslanders affected by cancer.

 

Local cancer survivor Wendy Clague has been named ‘Face of The Ride’ and aims to share her story to raise cancer awareness and make a difference in the fight against cancer.

 

“I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in April 2010 and it was such a shock because I was only 46-years-old,” she said.

 

“I was feeling generally unwell and had a bit of back pain and bloating which I originally thought was gallstones so I put off seeing the doctor for a while and tried changing my diet to see if that would help.

 

“I guess I was putting off getting checked out because I felt like I would be wasting the doctor’s time but when I did eventually see a GP I found out that I had been experiencing the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

 

“At the time I didn’t know the symptoms of ovarian cancer.”

 

Ms Clague said she now encourages others to be more aware of their bodies and not delay seeing a doctor if they feel something is not quite right.

 

“The sooner you seek advice the better because it could save your life,” she said.

 

“If I hadn’t seen my doctor and received chemotherapy and surgery when I did, I don’t know what would have happened.

 

“I was diagnosed with recurrent ovarian cancer in May 2011 which was followed by more chemotherapy.

 

“I am now in remission again and I’ve almost hit the six month mark which is great news.”

 

Ms Clague said she is now focussed on doing whatever she can to fight back against the disease and find a cure.

 

“I’m really passionate about cancer education and support, and events like the Cruise for Cancer contribute to those causes significantly,” she said.

 

“One day we will find a cure and in the meantime I am recruiting as many riders as I can to join in on the fight and help to make a difference.”

 

Rotary Club of Toowoomba City and Cruise for Cancer Committee President Chris Watt said he encouraged local Harley-Davidson enthusiasts to register and take part in the 2012 Cruise for Cancer.

 

“This is a unique opportunity for the community to have some fun with friends while making a difference in the fight against cancer,” he said.

 

“Thanks to the Toowoomba community’s continued generosity and support of the Cruise for Cancer, we have been able to improve the support available for local cancer patients.

 

“Funds raised from this event will contribute to the Toowoomba Accommodation and Support Lodge, which has provided a home-away-from home, at no cost, for South-West Queensland cancer patients having to relocate to the city for treatment.

 

“The Cruise for Cancer has become an anticipated event on the Toowoomba charity calendar and I would encourage everyone to do what they can to help make the 11th annual event a roaring success.”

 

You can support the event by registering to take part in the ride as a passenger or supporter or by sponsoring those who are riding.

 

Registration costs $120 to ride pillion on the back of a Harley-Davidson motorbike for up to three hours, a Cruise for Cancer T-shirt and a delicious morning tea and lunch.

 

Family and friends can register to come along in the supporter’s bus on the day.

 

This year’s ride will pass through the Eastern Downs region, with a morning tea stop at the Pittsworth Historical Pioneer Village and Museum, and finish at Queens Park in Toowoomba for lunch. 

 

Over the past ten years, the Cruise has provided a day of fun, laughter and good company with over 100 roaring Harleys.


2011 AMBASSADOR


In 2011 we remember Jenny Jenkins as our Cancer Ambassador for this year.

Jenny was a tireless worker for Qld Cancer. Jenny was also an enthusastic supporter of the Cruse for Cancer being a pillion every year and a sponsor of the ride last year. Sadly Jenny lost her own battle with Cancer this year and we are dedicating this 10th Anniversary Ride to Jenny.

We miss you Jen.


2010 AMBASSADOR

In 2010, Louise Underhill was our Cancer Ambassador and we thank Louise for doing an excellent job. Louise is a cancer nurse specialist in Toowoomba. Through her contact with patients an there families Louise has grown an ever extending drive to fight back against cancer. Over the past five years in particular Louise has been very supportive of Cancer Council Queensland not only taking part in vital fundraising, prevention and early detection activities but also being an imperative link between Cancer Council Queensland support services and those diagnosed. Louise urges South West Queensland to help the 1 in 3 affected by cancer by taking part in the Cruise for cancer event.