Riding for more than one worthy cause

Ready to ride: 2016 MS Sydney to Gong participants Janine Mladin and Paul Hillbrick. Picture: Anna Warr

Ready to ride: 2016 MS Sydney to Gong participants Janine Mladin and Paul Hillbrick. Picture: Anna Warr

On Sunday, November 6, a team of 10 to 20 lycra wearing cyclists will represent Macarthur in the annual Sydney to Gong ride.

The event sees cyclists compete in one of two events – the 90 kilometre ride (that starts from Sydney) and the 58 kilometre ride (that starts from Engadine) – which both finish at Wollongong Beach.

All riders must raise a minimum of $250 to enter, with the money helping those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

However, the riders who are part of the local team will also be raising funds for the Brain Cancer Foundation – a charity close to the heart of one of the cyclists, Janine Mladin.

“I had my first brain tumor removed in 2012,” Ms Mladin said.

“Since then I’ve had two more operations – in 2014 and 2105 – but I’ve been lucky enough to be treated by (brain surgeon) Dr Charlie Teo.

“I still have to get scans because it seems to regrow a little bit.

“When I had check ups this year in January and August it looked liked there were two spots that had grown.

“So if he (Dr Teo) doesn’t like the look of them, it will mean operation number four.”

Fellow rider and owner of Smeaton Grange business Hillbrick Bicycles, Paul Hillbrick, will also take part in this year’s ride as part of the Macarthur group.

It will be about the 10th time he has entered the “iconic” event.

“There are so many important causes out there,” he said.

“One of my mates dad’s died from MS … and Janine is an inspiration about why you celebrate life.

“So from my perspective, how could you not want to help this beautiful girl?”

Ms Mladin – who has also set herself a goal of running half marathons in every state and territory in Australia – said compared to a brain tumor, the 90 kilometre ride was “nothing at all”.

“Having a brain tumor was a wake up call to appreciate everyday,” she said.

“This ride gives me a training goal and an opportunity to raise awareness.

“I’ve got little girls who aren’t ready for their mum to go yet so that’s why I’m entering this event.”

Almost $35 million has been raised throughout the events 35 history.

This year’s event has almost raised $600,000 already. 

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