2012 Peter Thomas
The GIST Cancer Research Fund’s Cycling Warriors took to the road on October 23, 2012 for their 1,000-mile, 10-day crusade in the fight against GIST Cancer.
The spirit of Peter Thomas led the way and along with Riette and Dylan Thomas (and Wayne Thomas in tow), the riders began and ended a triumphant journey along the rugged South Africa coast.
It all started in Gordon’s Bay and concluded in Cape Town. It was the toughest and most challenging of the three Peter Thomas Memorial Rides For A Cure. It stretched the riders physically, mentally and emotionally. They crossed fourteen mountain passes and endured gale force headwinds that were so strong that it almost blew the riders off their bikes.
While each cyclist came for a different reason on this trip, the camaraderie and banter amongst the group was certainly a unique experience for many. You do have to ask yourself the question, why some come back to do this grueling ride every three years? Through all the adversity, this fantastic group of GIST Cyclists left their jobs, families and comforts of home to cycle 1,000 miles in 10 days to raise money for the GISTCancer cause and they never gave up. They are truly an inspiration and do what they do graciously and quietly without fanfare, egotism or arrogance. The world should take notice of how so many different people, from so many parts of the world, can form such a strong bond of brotherhood, respect and love. What a wonderful world it would be!
Tania Stutman, Chairperson of the GIST CANCER Research Fund commented on this tremendous accomplishment. “All of us at the GIST Cancer Research Fund (GCRF) will always be at each other’s side and be as one in this great cause to keep Peter's vision alive. Like an eagle, he will always fly with us in the wind. From our hearts to all of you, our heroines and heroes, GCRF expresses deep gratitude, appreciation and most of all, our love. We are so proud of all of you and to be a part, in spirit, of this incredible journey.”
The following comments from the riders are a true testament to the power of the 2012 Peter Thomas Memorial Ride For the Cure:
“Thank you team – you inspired me to go beyond what I thought I could do, albeit only a few days, it was a personal achievement.”
“Knowing people like this is what keeps my faith in humanity, gets me up in the morning and makes me believe another 1000 miles through France/Spain in 2015 is a certainty!”
“I will have many fond memories from these days in the Cape. The fabulous photos are a wonderful reminder but clearly do not portray the struggles that we did have, since almost every one of them has us grinning from ear to ear every time the camera appeared.”
“This is a personal challenge for everyone and everyday you face challenges such as, ‘Do I get on my bike now or later, do I ride the whole day or not, do I admit my butt is sore or not.’ This rider admitted while still healthy and able to do this, it is nothing compared to the people who suffer from GIST or any other cancer. We should all remember the pain they had to face or face on a daily basis and we all know someone who has had or has cancer and we are so blessed to share this experience with a group of healthy people.”
“I spend a lot of time on the road and I lead many tours every year and I know that fantastic trips don’t just happen by chance. We need fantastic people to turn good trips into fantastic ones!”
“Not wanting to wish your lives away, but three years is just around the corner.” It was a honour and privilege to ride with you all.”
Check out giste2e.net for more information and backgrounds about the individual cyclists, photos and day-by-day accounts of the ride. The 2012 Peter Thomas Memorial, 10-Day, 1,000 Mile Ride For A Cure has raised close to $40,000 for the GIST Cancer Research Fund to date. The goal is $50,000. Please be generous and contribute to make this challenge even more successful!