Tour de rocks

May 1st 2023 | Categories: Community |

When you lose someone you love to cancer, what can you do? You just want them back. Somehow, hopping on a bike for 2.5 days, riding up seemingly endless hills and gathering cash donations to go towards worthy charities feels like it helps. It won’t bring anyone back. It likely won’t change things for someone sick right now. But it will change someone’s life, and the community around them, sometime in the future. Knowing that helps.

There is nothing like joining a community of people who bring physical challenge, philanthropy and teamwork together in one big event. Recently, Invest Blue participated in Armidale NSWs 10th Tour de Rocks event. A challenging 235km ride in rural terrain, climbing 3,750m and spending over 13 hours on the bike; 15 of us rode and 4 supported as we cycled through the beautiful northern tablelands and camped at night. Proudly we were able to raise over $19,000 to go towards important cancer charity and research work. As our first time participating as a team, we are off to a great start and look forward to returning next year with a bigger team. We are passionate about empowering people to live their best possible life, and sadly we know firsthand that sometimes that goal is about survival and supporting families through very difficult times. Cancer comes out of the blue and even with positive outcomes, turns lives upside down. We work to ensure families are financially covered for this kind of event as part of our approach to holistic financial advice. We also work with families during these challenging times to ensure they have support through the insurance process. Whilst that is part of our work, the broader goal that the 100’s of people who participated in this event had, to contribute to support and research organisations that directly impact cancer patients, to find better treatments and cures, is commendable.

Congratulations to the Tour de Rocks committee and volunteers

Tour de Rocks as an organisation and the annual event is to be celebrated. Founded in 2010 by Jonathon Wheeler, at the time a student at The Armidale School who was working on his gold Duke of Edinburgh program; the event has legs. They have raised $2m! It runs smoothly with 6,500 meals pumped out delicious and piping hot, safety concerns well addressed, and emergency repairs handled. Along the ride there are cheerleaders and signs of encouragement – and thank heavens for it! It is not an easy ride. At one particularly challenging point I rode past a sign that read “if you think this is hard, you should try chemo”. I happened to be riding with a colleague who has had chemo and he chimed in with a joke as usual. As we move through daily life there are so many things we take for granted, health is a common one. While not easy, a moment like that one is a great reminder of what life is about. Nothing worth having comes easy. Fairness is not guaranteed. We grow through challenging ourselves. It takes a village to do just about everything.  And laughter really is the best medicine. If you would like to add to the fundraising effort this year, you still can!

What’s next?

The sister event to this is the 19 for 19 Challenge – A walk for Anya’s wish. On October 15th 2023 we will walk or run the 19km event to raise funds specifically for the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia in honour of Anya who passed away in 2020 at the age of 19 from a high-grade metastatic Osteosarcoma. I had the absolute honour of knowing Anya personally. She often looked after my young children and they adored her care. So did I. As a busy mum of 3 juggling a career I also love, coming home to the end of an afternoon of Anya’s care was always a joy. As a teenager, she had a unique gift of making me feel cared for too. She was all things light and love and has gone far, far too soon. This particular event raises funds for research specifically targeted at Osteosarcoma.

Thank you

A big thank you to everyone who participated and contributed, whether through a $20 donation, hours of camp set up or km after km of training and event day rides. For all those who did chip in, the community you formed around such a difficult set of diseases is remarkable and something to be proud of. Let’s hope these types of events and public support continue to improve the quality of life of those impacted by cancer, who, deserve nothing more than to be able to live out their best possible life.  

Lexi Glover Invest Blue

Lexi Glover Head of Operations at Invest Blue  

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