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In 2020 Nick Heuzenroeder will be taking part in Ride for a reason to honour a very special person—his father in law Kevin Deakin who passed away from Glioblastoma earlier this year. 

Kevin was a Ride for a reason regular, taking part in the event every year since 2015 as a part of Riverland-based Berri Bike Boys.

In 2017, everything changed when Kevin was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. He rode for the last time in 2018 and last year, waited at the finish line, cheering the team on.

At this year’s Ride for a reason, Nick will be joined by his wife and Kevin’s daughter Kellie, Kevin’s wife Vicki, Kevin’s son Peter and Kevin’s sister Kay.

The family will be riding together with the Berri Bike Boys as the ultimate way to honour Kevin’s memory.

“Kevin and I were very similar—when we fall in love with something, we go all in. That’s how he was with cycling, it became his passion. When we moved back from Melbourne in 2017 Kevin convinced me to start riding with him and I became hooked. Three months later, he was diagnosed with brain cancer,” said Nick.

“When Kev was diagnosed it was a pretty challenging time for me, both personally and professionally, and the whole family really hit a low ebb. It was during that time that I jumped on the bike. I found it was such a great way to clear my mind. I still find that clarity today whenever I hit the road.”

In the ultimate tribute to Kevin, Nick will be riding one of his bikes when he takes on the challenging 162.2km track from Norwood to Murray Bridge.

“Kevin had an amazing nine bikes—like I said, he didn’t do things in halves. After he passed away, I had a chat to his wife and asked if I could ride one of them at next year’s event. I feel like it’s the ultimate tribute to him and a fantastic way to honour his memory.”

Even though Kevin remains his biggest motivator, Nick says that he’s also seen countless family and friends either face, or lose their life to a cancer diagnosis.

“Cancer impacts everyone in one way or another. It’s those stories that have a ripple effect throughout the whole community and motivate me to continue to make a difference.”

For Nick, knowing that the money he raises will fund future cancer research is a huge motivator.

“I know that some people get disenfranchised because we still seem so far away from finding a cure. But I know that small progress is being made every single day.

“Just the other day, my dad had a cataract removed—I know that 20 years ago there’s a possibility he would have gone blind. It’s the same with cancer treatment. We progressed so far in the past 20 years and my hope is that the money I raise will fund future breakthroughs.”

“It’s a real privilege to be taking part in the Ride for a reason this year, and even more special to be doing it with Kevin’s family and the Berri Bike Boys. They’re an amazing group, and I’m honoured to be a part of it,” he said.

Nick is just one of thousands of South Australians who will be taking part in Ride for a reason on Friday, 24 January 2020.

In its 11th year, Ride for a reason enables participants taking part in the Santos Tour Down Under Challenge Tour to make their ride count and fundraise for Cancer Council.

Since it started, Ride for a reason has raised more than $4million for Cancer Council funding research, prevention, advocacy and support programs that save lives.

Cancer Council SA Chief Executive and Ride for a reason participant Lincoln Size said that the event has become an integral part of Cancer Council’s fundraising calendar and urged all cyclists riding the Challenge Tour to register and make their ride count.

“Since 2009 we have joined with the South Australian Tourism Commission to give participants a chance to Ride for a reason and raise critical funds for those impacted by cancer in our community. All the money raised makes a huge difference to the lives of those impacted by cancer in our community,” he said.

In 2020, anyone who Rides for a reason also has an extra incentive, with prizes on offer and riders able to earn exclusive Santini Ride for a reason kit with each fundraising milestone they reach.

Participants can either Ride for a reason on Challenge Tour Day, choose a distance and complete it during the month of January by taking part in the January Distance Challenge, or do choose to combine the January Distance Challenge with the Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

For more information about the different options and to sign up visit the Ride for a reason website here.