Alpine Everesting is an upcoming fundraising event established by Central Coast GP, Dr Elly Warren, and her elite triathlete friend, Bec Hoschke, who met on a Tour de Cure charity ride last year raising money for cancer. Tour de Cure raises $7–12M a year for Australian cancer research, prevention and support services. Elly and Bec discovered they share the same birthday as well as a passion for community and a strong determination to address social inequality.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 40% more likely to die from cancer than other Australians. Cancer screening rates are lower, leading to more advanced disease at diagnosis and poorer treatment outcomes. Cancer risk factors like smoking and obesity are more prevalent too, causing cancers that would otherwise be preventable with healthy diet and lifestyle changes. Barriers to cancer care relate to social disadvantage, lack of access to transport, financial strain, low health literacy, and a range of other cultural, political and health care system factors.
In January 2022, Elly and Bec are targeting the cancer gap for Aboriginal families through their Alpine Everesting challenge with Tour de Cure. They hope to raise enough money to fund an Aboriginal Health Worker Cancer Navigator position to provide cultural support, health education and guide people with cancer through treatment. This is an amazing and unique opportunity to directly benefit Aboriginal people with cancer on the Central Coast.
Elly and Bec have assembled a group of 30 incredible athletes from across Australia to complete an Everesting Roam challenge, including more than 20 women, 5 of which are from the Central Coast. Only 27 women in the world have ever completed an Everesting Roam. Every rider will raise a minimum $1000 for the project. They will cycle 500km in 36 hours in Bright, Victoria (or in their own local government areas if borders are still closed due to Covid). Everesting challenges have become popular during the Covid pandemic while other endurance cycling events have been cancelled or postponed. Riders can choose a route that suits them if it satisfies the Everesting rules: minimum 400km within 36 hours, 10000m vertical, sleep allowed.
A special artwork has been created by local Aboriginal artist, Jodi Shannon, in honour of her nephew Beau, who died from cancer aged 5yo. The riders will wear a cycling kit designed using the painting. Beach towels, stainless steel water bottles and swimming costumes will be customed from the artwork for purchase before Christmas to aid the fundraising.
Yerin Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Health Centre and Dr Elly will also run a Get Active for Cancer challenge, inspiring the local Darkinjung community to exercise and improve the lifestyle factors that lead to poor cancer outcomes. The Darkinjung community and Alpine Everesting riders are working together for the greater cause, inspiring true collaboration and raising awareness about cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Help them reach their $50,000 goal by donating at www.alpineeveresting.com.au
Dr Elly Warren works at Yerin Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Health Centre and Your Family Doctors at Erina. Read her ‘What should I know about cancer?’ blog on Instagram @drelly_warren and follow her Tour de Cure journey on Facebook @drellystdc