COVID can’t stop cancer pioneer finishing his Ride4Research

By Rob Clancy, staff writer

Not even COVID-19 could stop a pioneer in the fight against rare ovarian cancers finishing his epic fundraising Ride4Research ride.

Eight-year-old Neve presents fundraising cheque to riders finishing Ride4Researcher.
Eight-year-old Neve presents fundraising cheque to riders finishing Ride4Research.

In early May, Dr Simon Chu took a break from the lab and put rubber on the road in the Ride4Research, aiming to cover 900km in nine days from Canberra to Melbourne.

But with one day to go, the pandemic struck the crew and the last leg was called off.

Not to be deterred, six weeks later they were back, completing the journey in a group riding the last 50km from Whittlesea to the finish at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

The star of the show was eight-year-old Neve, the youngest person diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Australia (aged just 11 months), who proudly led them across the finish line.

Channel 7 News was there to capture the excitement.

Ride4research finish line for patients

Dr Chu spends his working life at Hudson Institute of Medical Research, specialising in Granulosa Cell Tumour, with much of his funding coming from the Rare Ovarian Cancer Foundation (ROC Inc), who organised the ride.

Juvenile Granulosa Cell Cancer (JGCT) is a rare ovarian cancer that typically affects younger females, with Australia’s youngest patient diagnosed at just 11 months old, and the oldest at 53 years. Ninety-four per cent of patients with JGCT are under 30 and currently there is no cure.

Research is needed to help understand the disease. The Ride4Research has raised $140,000 for researching this little-known cancer in the hope of developing an appropriate treatment, and new donations are always welcome.

VIEW VIDEO | Channel 7 News featuring Dr Simon Chu finishing Ride4Research

Funders | ROC Inc

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“Thank you Hudson Institute researchers. Your work brings such hope to all women with ovarian cancer knowing that potentially women in the future won't have to go through what we have!”

Alana Chantry