Mum’s battle inspires family ride for cancer

Sjanna SandalovaGreat Southern Herald

A Katanning service technician has got out his helmet and lycra gear to ride for a cause close to his heart.

Bradley Garstone, along with his father Ian Garstone, brother Stuart Garstone, sister Marieka Wilson and friend Josh Kippin made up Team Garstone in the 2017 MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer.

The 200km ride, which took place in Perth on October 21 and 22, benefits the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

This is the third year Bradley, his father and brother have participated in the event, and they plan to do the ride for as long as they can.

“We do this ride as it’s personal to us,” Bradley said.

“My mother passed away in August 2015 due to a battle with bowel cancer.

“We are determined to help the experts find a cure by fundraising for this event.”

To qualify for the ride, each team member must raise a minimum of $2500 and a combined total of $10,000.

Team Garstone raised a total of $13,660, and the final amount raised by a total of 855 riders was $4.1 million.

Bradley said the event was well organised, thanks to the many volunteers who worked tirelessly to make it happen.

“It was good to just ask people why they do the ride, and you hear some pretty remarkable stories and sometimes some heartfelt stories — everyone was doing it for a reason that is close to them, and it’s amazing the amount of support that we had while fundraising and doing the ride,” he said.

“Rotary Katanning was massive for us this year, donating an outstanding $10,000.

“The rest was raised by us cutting up and selling firewood. CLAAS Harvest Centre donated $500 to us as well.”

Katanning Rotary Club president Keith Ohlsen said the club wanted to contribute in any way they could because of their close relationship with Ian and Carol Garstone.

“We all saw the difficulties of dealing with that sort of disease within the country and we

felt it was important to support the ride and try, in some small way, to contribute to make it easier for people dealing with cancer,” he said.

Bradley said the feeling of accomplishing the ride was better than winning a trophy at your local sporting club.

“The support from strangers on the side of the road cheering you on is amazing,” he said.

“We will keep doing this ride every year regardless, the distance scares a lot of people away from doing this event, but it’s not that bad and it’s not a race. You can do it at your own pace.”

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