People driving change
Our heroes include the men, women and children who are affected by cancer and those who sadly have lost their lives to this terrible disease.
Every day, we are inspired by our heroes. People who:
- lead by example
- change minds and lives
- raise life-saving funds for world-class cancer projects
- inspire others to join us in the fight to cure cancer
They offer hopeful perspectives and the promise of a new way forward.
Be inspired by their stories
We have so many heroes - far too many to list here - but here are just some of their stories.
In memory of Conor McAuliffe
“Go little legs!” is our catch cry on tour and part of Conor McAuliffe's legacy to TDC. Conor was only 2 years old, when he was diagnosed with liver cancer. He died at the age of 3. Even during treatment, Conor would get on his bike and pedal around to his grandparents' place. When his legs wouldn’t go fast enough, he would shout “Go little legs!” Michael McAuliffe, Conor’s father, is on our RSP Grant Committee, helping to ensure that we fund the projects that will have the biggest impact on cancer. He and his wife Sally have joined us on tour as riders. Lyn and Dick Atkinson, Conor’s grandparents, are invaluable members of our support crew. Last year Dick was the oldest person on the team.
"The courage shown by Conor's family has touched us immensely at Tour de Cure. It's stories like this that inspire us to continue the work we do."
Geoff Coombes, Co-Founder Tour de Cure
Meet Professor Michelle Haber AM
Known for her world-class research into the treatment of neuroblastoma and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in children, Michelle is a passionate advocate for Tour de Cure. She has spoken on our behalf at numerous corporate events, community functions and most recently, at our presentation to the NSW Parliament. Like us, she is passionate about leveraging research to save the lives of children with cancer. Her husband, Paul, is a keen rider and joined us for our 2013 Signature Tour, with Michelle and their daughter joining us as support crew. For this research pioneer, it was a magical experience that enabled her to see first-hand, how we promote the need for funding at a grassroots level.
"Barely 50 years ago, childhood cancer was virtually a death sentence. Through medical research the survival rates for children’s cancer are up at around nearly 80%, so it’s really one of the miracles of modern medicine."
Professor Michelle Haber AM, Children's Cancer Institute
Meet John Rasko AO
John is a clinical hematologist, pathologist, scientist and Professor of Medicine at the Central Clinical School Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine & Cell Biology. He has a strong track record in gene and stem cell therapy, experimental haematology and molecular biology. Funding from Tour de Cure has enabled John and his team to make substantial discoveries in the causes of different cancers. In particular, our funding has helped his team to develop a better understanding of prostate cancer, melanoma, breast and ovarian cancers, which has helped to underpin new treatments.
"I can’t over-emphasise how important the money from Tour de Cure is. It provides much-needed funding for research that we just can’t get funding for from government or other sources."
Professor John Rasko AO
Meet Don & Di Morris
When they lost their young friend Megan to lung cancer in 2009, Don and Di from Biloela in central Queensland decided it was time to make a difference and do something to find a cure for cancer. Since then, they’ve cycled to Mooloolaba, Birdsville, and as far south as Sydney to raise money for Tour de Cure, engaging their local community, friends and family in our cause. Don has even participated in a Peloton Bares All For Cancer show, going the Full Monty to drive donations! It worked because in 2016, Don and Di received the Tour de Cure Individual Fundraisers of the Year award, having raised an incredible $310,000 for cancer research. Thank you guys. You are an inspiration to us all!
“You get tired, you get sore but you just say to yourself 'This is hard work but it's not nearly as hard as what some people are going through'.”
In memory of Nathan Jones
Nathan Jones was a devoted husband, loving father of three gorgeous, young girls, Ariella, Kalita and Zahlia, and a passionate TDC rider. Sadly, Nathan passed away from stage 4 melanoma in 2016. He had a profound impact on so many people. He taught us to cherish our family, to get the most out of life and to remember to always hug our loved ones. His raw courage and determination was truly inspirational, right until the very end. As his wife Lisa said, Nathan climbed the biggest mountain – cancer – but had to stop pedalling. Cancer stole our inspirational friend. We ride for Nathan and others like him.