The Nation

Sunday, September 22, 2002

her marathon bicycle ride to raise 
funds for Singapore-based 
Breast Cancer Foundation. 

Solo cyclist rides for charity

Individual fund-raising is often linked to physical exertion and mental resolve. 

While some have a knack for raising cash with a minimum of fuss and pain, others are not so lucky. 

Straining calf muscles in the quest for charity dollars is a common practice, as Wendy Chan can testify to. 

Chan, 37, left Bangkok yesterday morning on her 2,000-kilometre solo bike ride to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation in her native Singapore. 

She plans to finish her "Cycling Abreast'' marathon in Singapore in a fortnight, riding 150 kilometres - or 10 to 12 hours - each day in her quest to raise at least Bt430,000. 

Chan will have a day's rest in Hat Yai and Kuala Lumpur. 

The freelance photographer said a "painful bereavement'' last year had robbed her of many interests, but her love of cycling remained. 

Since the tragedy, Chan has been brimming with compassion for the less fortunate. 

"I just want to enjoy myself and try to make a difference," she said. 

When asked what difficulties she expected to face on the road, Chan replied: "I'm not worried about being murdered or being alone, I can only hope I'll manage the punctures and reach home on time." 

Chan hoped her efforts would promote greater awareness of breast cancer and other female health issues. 

She called for early breast cancer detection and affordable healthcare, as cost often stopped Southeast Asian women from detecting symptoms at a treatable stage. 

Traversing national borders alone in this part of the world carries with it an element of danger, especially for females. But the trip is something Chan is looking forward to. 

She has travelled alone before - on a recent ride from Singapore to Malacca - and uses it as an ideal "soul searching'' tool. 

"I don't want to sound idealistic, but there is much opportunity to see the gracious side of people on the road," she said. 

It's something that has helped Chan rediscover her faith in humanity. 

Haider Kikabhoy 


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