20 March 2020
Despite his heartbreak, Kylan found inspiration in his loss and came up with the idea of ‘220 For Tammy’—to ride 220kms from Adelaide to Barmera to raise money for cancer research.
This is Kylan’s story, his legacy to his mum, that he has shared in the hope of preventing other children from going through what no child should have to go through.
I’m Kylan, I’m 17 now but I was just 14 when my mum was diagnosed and passed away from lung cancer.
We had just shy of a year with mum from diagnosis to her passing and that year was a normal year, filled with normal days. The days that I miss the most. In that time, we all assumed that she’d get through it. But she didn’t.
My mum, Tammy-Lee Beech, passed away on 15 October 2016.
And I’d give anything to have my mum here to watch me grow up, to have just one more year, one more day with her.
Losing someone like my mum has been hard—especially because she didn’t smoke and had no symptoms. We never saw it coming.
Mum was the kind of person who always put others before herself and about a year ago, I started thinking—maybe I should take a leaf out of her book and do that as well.
That’s how I came up with the idea of ‘220 for Tammy’.
It was a way to do something for mum because, like me, she always wondered why her cancer couldn’t be found earlier.
I also wanted to do it because I don’t want another kid to miss their mum every day, for everyday things the way I miss mine.
Just after we lost mum, I didn’t know what to do, and to be honest, some days I still don’t. We were close, our family was close, and wherever mum used to go, I would go too.
We’d go out after school, after footy, and go to the shops because we both liked shopping, we’d ride our bikes to the beach for coffee on the weekend. Now, I don’t have anyone to do those things with. And that’s when I miss her the most.
My hope with ‘220 for Tammy’ was that it would be a way for us all to remember and celebrate mum.
And it was.
It was also about helping other people to not have to go through what we’ve gone through, to stop it happening again.
Doing ‘220 for Tammy’ with my older brothers Jono, Nick and Jordan was a great way to honour mum and help others, but it was also good for us.
We rode the whole distance, together, with mum watching over us and pushing us forward. I always thought in the lead up that mum would pull us through, I knew she’d be right there with us.
And she was.
Looking at the ride my brothers and I completed, and the funds we were able to raise in her honour, I think mum would be proud—very proud.
With the support of the South Australian and Barmera community, we managed to triple our initial $10,000 goal to more than $30,000 that will help Cancer Council SA researchers like Professor Ross McKinnon find better ways to detect cancer and treat it.
We’re so happy and thankful with the amount of support we’ve had—it means a lot and it really shows us all just how special mum was.
Every minute, every hour, every day Cancer Council SA researchers like Prof McKinnon are working to find better treatments to give more time to people impacted by cancer. More time for mums to spend with their kids. Kids like me.
For me, more time would mean more time to do our day-to-day things, the normal stuff, and for me to tell mum I love her.
Seeing what four brothers on bikes can do for a cancer free future with the support of a community behind them gives me hope that together we can make sure no kid has to go through what I’ve gone through.
If you can, please give to support our researchers to discover better ways to detect and treat cancer because together, we can create a future where kids don’t lose their mums to cancer.