Cancer survivors roar into action to educate communities

The wheels are in motion for this year’s Cancer.vive tour which sees cancer survivors taking to the open road on motorcycles to spread a powerful and passionate message of hope and awareness. Over 50 people, including 25 cancer survivors, are taking part in the annual ride between 22 and 29 September.

Whilst the Cancer.vive team works throughout the year to raise funds and fight the disease, the annual motorcycle ride is the NGO People Living With Cancer’s (PLWC) flagship event. It aims to educate and raise awareness about cancer prevention and support among thousands of South Africans in in a new and dynamic way.

This year French singing sensation Myra Maud will be lending her talents and charm to the Cancer.vive ride, while multi-talented South African dancer and award-winning choreographer, John Sithole, promises to get the crowds on their feet. South African celebrities and cancer survivors, Lillian Dube and Janie du Plessis, are part of the team of riders who will be taking to the road in September.

Cancer.vive Operational Manager and cancer survivor, Frieda Henning says it’s a spectacular sight when their long procession roars into a town.  “We are always welcomed with great enthusiasm and it’s an exciting highlight when onlookers realise most of the bikers are women.”

Cancer affects millions of South Africans and is the leading cause of death globally.  However, 30% of all cancers can be prevented and treated if detected early, but knowledge is the key.

 “Our education and awareness programmes target the early detection and treatment of all cancers, but we specifically focus on those cancers which, due to social or cultural stigmas, people are hesitant to talk about. The so-called shy cancers include testicular, cervical, prostate, ovarian, breast and colorectal cancer. They are known as the silent killers as they often go undetected for far too long due to a lack of knowledge, fear or shame,” Frieda explains.

Last year’s ride saw the Cancer.vive team making their way fromJohannesburgtoCape Townand covering a distance of about 2,400 kilometres. This year the team will travel throughGautengandMpumalanga, stopping in among othersSoweto, Witbank, Sabie, Nelspruit and Mantongomane.

“The initiative is not only focused on big cities and towns, but we specifically visit rural areas, small towns and remote villages where communities are often unaware of the facts,have limited access to health care and are too afraid or shy to speak out about cancer,” she continues. 

“We want all South Africans to understand what the risks and the signs are. We want them to realise theimportance of self-examination, regular check-ups and the different treatments and support structures available. Between us, the riders speak seven languages, which means communities will receive the Cancer.vive message of hope and support in their mother tongue,” she says. 

Frieda says Cancer.vive is a way of life for each and every team member and supporter.

“The Cancer.vive team members are living examples of how important early detection is and that every second of life is worth celebrating. We feel blessed and privileged to be survivors of cancer who can make a difference by inspiring others and by helping them to be brave enough to stand up against the disease as well.” she concludes.

Scott Maddock, Managing Director of Revlon SouthAfrica(which is the title sponsor of the Cancer.vive ride) says they are proud to once again be lending their support: “This initiative creates awareness, educates and encourages people to talk to one another about a disease that is still so stigmatised in our country.  We believe in speaking about Cancer, debating and advocating at all levels with relevant stakeholders, to ensure that the frightening statistics are reversed. At Revlon, we do not just care about people’s looks, but we care about their lives. We will continue to ensure that the plight of millions of people, that do not have access to even the most basic treatment facilities, is addressed.”

The entourage’s powerful motorcycles are supplied by Triumph, and vehicle support is courtesy of Imperial Ford & Mazda. Caltex will keep the tanks and the team’s tummies full on the road. 

How you can support Cancer.vive:

·       kykNET will be airing a documentary on last year’s Cancer.vive motorcycle road trip on Sunday 2 September 2012 at 4pm. Tune in to get a glimpse of all the inspirational stories of hope and survival and what the 2012 trip will entail.

·       Join the Cancer.vive 2012 team for their official send-off on Friday 21 September at the Revlon offices in Isando. The celebration will see local celebrities showing their support and will include performances by top artists.

·       Show your support for this inspiring initiative by liking Cancer.vive on Facebook or follow them on Twitter

·       Assist the Cancer.vive team with their fundraising efforts by attending one of their fundraising events or by making an online donation.

·       Find out how you can host your own fundraising event in support of the 2012 ride.

·       Visit the Cancer.vive website and post your message of support and encouragement for the riders participating this year.

·       For more information, contact Frieda Henning on 082 335 4912 or 044 802 0420 oremail 

For media enquiries or visuals, please contact Roxy MacNaugton on 079 529 8045 or email

Scheduled Events

21 September             Official Send-off fromKemptonPark(Revlon SouthAfricahead office)

22 September             Sowetoand Kagiso

24 September             Witbank

25 September             Witbank and Middelburg

26 September             Lyndenburg and Sabie

27 September Nelspruit and Malelane

28 September             Kamslushwa, Komatipoort andBarberton

29 September             Centurion

Cancer Statistics

·       Cancer is the leading cause of death throughout the world.

·       Globally, more people die from cancer than HIV, TB and malaria combined.

·       It is estimated that one in three people will get cancer during their lifetime, afigure expected to rise to one in two by 2020.

·       While not all cancers can be prevented, healthy lifestyle choices, such as not smoking, regular exercise and wearing sunscreen, can reduce your risk of cancer.

·       Skin cancer is the most common cancer inSouth Africa, with about 20 000 cases reported annually and 700 deaths.

·      South Africamen have a lifetime risk (LR) of 1 in 6 of getting cancer.

·       South African women have a lifetime risk (LR) of 1 in 8 of getting cancer.

*(South African statistics are based on the South African 2001 National Cancer Registry (NCR). Although the NCR is outdated and a pathology-based registry, resulting in under-reporting of many cancers, this is the only official verifiable South African data available at present).

About the Cancer.vive ride

·       The group enjoys support from others on motorbikes along the way as well as a procession of 9 support vehicles (including a Netcare Unit.)

·       The distance travelled is about 2 300 km.

·       During the ride the public will be updated with daily reports and AV clips on the Cancer.Vive website

·       The song “I can survive” was especially written and recorded for the initiative by cancer survivor Adri van Niewenhuizen.

·       The members of Cancer.Vive all have one important thing in common; they want tofight the disease with all that they have. But they also want to demonstrate that despite their challenges, they know how to celebrate life!

·       Live music, movement. dance and audience interaction ensure that every Cancer.vive talk is vibrant and fun.

 About Cancer.vive

·       Cancer.vive is a cancer awareness and educational initiative which falls under the umbrella of the well-established NGO, PLWC (People Living With Cancer).

·       The initiative was started by a group of breast cancer survivors who have been campaigning for years and who recognised the need for awareness and education around other cancers as well.

·       Throughout the year Cancer.vive has various initiatives all over the country that include fundraising, educational and awareness campaigns and projects.

·       The main event for the year however is the motorcycle ride throughSouth Africa, now an annual event.

·       Cancer.Vive aims to reach in the region of 30 000 people directly with their message through various initiatives during the year.

·       The project is supported by various celebrities including the award-winning comedian, Shimmy Isaacs who wrote a one woman play for the initiative. 

Aims include:

  – tell people about the importance of early detection and that it can save lives;

  – highlight the importance of the proper treatment;

  – set up Cancer Buddy Support groups all over the country for cancer patients and their families;

  –  to raise funds to focus on creating effective educational materials, training, etc.

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