Liesl Ah Shene
TWO Port Elizabeth cyclists have started preparing for the sixth annual St Bernard’s Hospice Cycle Challenge between Port Elizabeth and East London from November 27 to 29.
The local riders who will join cyclists from across the province, are Gavin Olivier and Antonie Gerber.
Riders will take off from the Town Lodge in Port Elizabeth on the evening of November 26.
Public relations officer Tammy Sellers said many of the cyclists had been a part of the fundraising event from the beginning and returned each year to experience the camaraderie all over again.
St Bernard’s Hospice in East London came into being in 1991.
Sellers said every year had presented its own challenges, which the non-profit organisation had managed to overcome.
“This event is so much more than mere fundraising, and is a way for us to create much-needed awareness about what we do and to hopefully break some of the misconceptions that have been formed.”
As part of their home-based programme, St Bernard’s provides medically directed palliative care; pain and symptom management; dietary and nutritional support; counselling, as well as emotional support and bereavement counselling to thefamily members of the patients.
Sellers said St Bernard’s Hospice did not turn away any patients who were unable to contribute financially for the care that was provided to them.
Sellers said funding the organisation received from government and corporate social investment programmes, did not cover the costs for cancer patients.
She said the popular cycle challenge was one of the organisation’s main fundraising events which helped it offer care to cancer patients.
On day one of the challenge, cyclists will ride from Port Elizabeth to Alexandria, where they will spend the evening at the Nduna Lodge and Heritage House.
Day two sees them travelling from Alexandria along the R72, passing through Port Alfred, and spending the night at the Mpekweni Beach Resort.
On day three they will cover the last stretch from the resort to East London, with the finish at The Reagent Hotel on the Esplanade in East London.
Anyone who would like to assist with sponsorships, can contact Sellers at fundraising@ stbh.org.za