Australian Olympic cyclist and cancer survivor Matt Glaetzer is lending his support to Cancer Council’s Ride for a reason this January.
In 2019, Matt found a lump in his throat—while it didn’t seem right, he didn’t think it would be anything sinister. The Medical Staff at the Australian Cycling Team insisted on Matt getting scans, which revealed a shock thyroid cancer diagnosis.
He says that receiving the diagnosis out of the blue, especially when he was so fit and healthy, came as a complete shock.
“It was pretty heavy to get the call, but I’m also incredibly thankful that the doctors caught it early and I was able to get onto it pretty quickly,” he said.
Matt had an operation in November and was back training shortly afterwards. He is now a part of the Australian team in training for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.
“I’m still able to train as normal which is great, but I do need to have regular blood tests to make sure my medication is still doing its job. I’m incredibly lucky that I had an amazing support network to get my through,” he said.
Now back on the bike, Matt is a proud ambassador for Cancer Council’s Ride for a reason this January and is passionate about sharing his story to support others
“I know that I am incredibly lucky that my cancer was caught early and I can now be back on the bike doing what I love, but I know that not everyone is that lucky” he said.
“Cancer Council SA plays a really important role in providing much needed support to people going through cancer, as well as reducing the impact of the disease on future generations.”
“Having friends affected by cancer, and now going through it myself, I understand how truly hard it can be at times. The whole cancer experience taught me a lot of things and I now want do my part to make things a little bit easier for those diagnosed in the future by sharing my story and helping organisations like Cancer Council SA.”
Established in 2008, Ride for a reason has raised more than $4million for South Australians impacted by cancer.
This year, cyclists can Ride for a reason in the Santos Festival of Cycling – a six day domestic cycling festival that combines road, track, paracycling, BMX, mountain bikes and cyclo-cross.
Ride for a reason cyclists can join the festival of cycling and take part in the January Distance Challenge, which enables cyclists to set their own distance and complete it any time throughout January, while raising funds for Cancer Council SA.
Matt says its fantastic to see that even though the Tour Down Under looks different this year, there’s still a chance for South Australians to make a difference.
“Ride for a reason is an iconic part of the Tour Down Under and it’s great to see that people can still take part in 2021 and make a difference, while also setting their own fitness goals,” he said.
“I’m incredibly proud to be supporting Cancer Council’s Ride for a reason this year and hope that through sharing my story, I can inspire other South Australian cyclists to get on the bike and make their ride count,” said.
The Olympian also has a very special message for those currently going through cancer treatment.
“To anyone going through a cancer diagnosis, you are never alone through this time. Lean on your family and friends for support and focus on what you can do at the moment, rather than the things that are out of your control.”
Money raised through Ride for a reason enables Cancer Council to invest in ground breaking research, run lifesaving prevention programs, support people impacted by cancer and advocate on behalf of the community.
For more information about Ride for a reason and to sign up visit the Ride for a reason website.