2018 Fitz’s Challenge Community Ambassador Jennifer Faerber shares her motivation for riding in the event and her personal connection to charity partner, The Kids’ Cancer Project.
How would you describe your cycling experience?
I’m a recreational rider. I love being out on the bike, enjoying the speed, the scenery and the weather. I used to live on Vancouver Island, which meant a lot of riding in the rain. Now I’m a fair weather rider, on a road bike and a mountain bike. I most enjoy riding alone! I find it slightly meditative to just go at your own pace, exploring and taking in the scenery.
Why will you be tackling Fitz’s this year?
I enjoy riding, and knowing this event is around the corner has encouraged me to get out regularly and take on some hills! I think it’s really important that women claim some space in the sports and activities they enjoy, most of all to give other women and girls the idea that they might enjoy it too. The Kids’ Cancer Project is an excellent cause that I know my friends and family will help me to support through fundraising.
Have you done anything like this before?
I had never even been on a road bike until I got myself on the 2013 team riding the Tour de Rock, a huge fundraiser on Vancouver Island for the Canadian Cancer Society. We rode 1200km in 13 days, stopping in at lots of schools and fundraising events along the way. We trained three times a week for about six months – around 40km of hills on Tuesdays, 40km of speed/intervals on Thursdays and a long ride of up to 140km on weekends.
So which Fitz’s ride are you doing and why?
I’ve chosen to do the 50km ride, partly because I’m extremely confident I’ll be able to do it. I enjoy hills, in their own weird way, but it’s been so long since I’ve done any regular training that I think it might be a rude shock when I try the route. I’m also not competitive at all and I know a big focus of Fitz’s Challenge is individual achievement – not racing the other participants.
What does The Kids’ Cancer Project mean to you?
Cancer has been a big part of my life. I had non-Hodgkins lymphoma when I was 11 years old, but was considered totally cured after about 10 months of chemo and two years of check-ups. I have a few ‘late effects’ as they’re known (holey teeth, low fertility) but the most significant lasting effect has been how close my family is and how we appreciate the most basic things, like having a meal together. The Kids’Cancer Project funds research into childhood cancer that has already totally transformed the experience of a child undergoing treatment. My treatment was primitive and blunt compared to how targeted they can be now. I’m so grateful that people like my oncologist Dr Luce Dalla-Pozza are still working 22 years later to make even more improvements and that they’re receiving funding from The Kids’Cancer Project to do it.
To donate to The Kids’ Cancer Project go to www.thekidscancerproject.org.au