Four mountain bike enthusiasts to ride from Pretoria to Pinetown to raise funds for children with cancer, life threatening illnesses

By Chelsea Ntuli Time of article published Oct 14, 2020

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Pretoria - Four mountain bike enthusiasts have set themselves a huge challenge of riding from Pretoria to Pinetown in six days.

Their aim is to raise awareness and funds for Rainbows and Smiles, a non profit organisation that supports children diagnosed with cancer or life threatening illnesses.

Philip Riggien, Shaun Knowles, Bruce Knowles and Luke Dinkel have set themselves a target of raising R50 000 for this charity.

Riggien said the cause was close to home for them because their younger daughter was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2009.

Riggien said Emma- Liegh, was 15 at the time and the diagnosis was a huge shock to the family who were not aware of the warning signs for childhood cancer.

“The ride will begin on October 24 from Wapadrand and we are looking to arrive in Pinetown around the 29th or 30th. Riding is my passion and childhood cancer awareness is my family's passion, combining the two, to raise funds, just seemed like the right thing to do,” said Riggien.

He said their daughter was declared cancer free one year after diagnosis and was now almost 10 years cancer free.

Creating awareness for childhood cancer was a huge part of their lives.

He added that they had already raised R20 000 and were moving closer to reaching their target.

One of the other riders Shaun Knowles said they all loved the challenge of long distance cycling and have been raising funds for charities, through cycling events for a couple of years now.

The group have been friends since their school days and doing this fundraiser together just fell into place.

“Covid-19 saw a lot of cycling events postponed or cancelled and we really wanted to do an ultra long distance event together. Supporting a charity is an added bonus and we have seen first-hand how hard this little charity works to provide love, support and care for little children fighting a horrible disease,” said Shaun Knowles.

They opened a fundraising account which has been set up through Back-A-Buddy for donations and all funds raised will go to Rainbows and Smiles to help them continue with their work.

Riggien said anyone wanting to donate and support these four riders can donate via Snapscan or through the following link: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/pta-pt-mtb-for-rainbows

Riggien’s wife, Debbie Riggien is the KwaZulu-Natal child support manager for Rainbows and Smiles.

She explained that Rainbows and Smiles provided support to hundreds of children in Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Johannesburg and Pretoria.

“Visiting the hospitals and seeing the children is so rewarding. I get to spoil these children with gifts and snacks and for a brief moment in time they are able to forget about their illness,” she added.

She said the organisation advocated for awareness initiatives and education on the early warning signs of childhood cancer.

Pretoria News

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