Second leukemia death spurs cancer ride again

SAD MEMORY: Jody Struthers is taking part in the Ride to Conquer Cancer in memory of her niece, Holly Muhling, who died from leukemia this year.
SAD MEMORY: Jody Struthers is taking part in the Ride to Conquer Cancer in memory of her niece, Holly Muhling, who died from leukemia this year. Rob Williams

FOR the second time, a death in her family has inspired Jody Struthers to ride a bike more than 200km to raise money for leukemia.

Ms Struthers' two-year-old niece, Holly Muhling, died in November after being diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia four days after her second birthday.

"It's been a bit of a hard year for our family," Ms Struthers said.

"I wanted to do something for her, to raise money and awareness of leukemia."

She decided to take part in the 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer.

It will be the second time she has taken part in the long ride from Brisbane into the Somerset region after competing in the wake of her uncle's death from leukemia.

Two-year-old Holly Muhling has leukemia. Photo: David Nielsen / Queensland Times
Two-year-old Holly Muhling has leukemia. Photo: David Nielsen / Queensland Times David Nielsen

"I did the ride in 2011 after our uncle died, so I thought it would be right to do the next one for Holly," Ms Struthers said.

"The ride begins in St Lucia in Brisbane and goes up north towards Esk.

"This year it came through Leichhardt too, so it's pretty close to home for Ipswich too."

The Ride to Conquer Cancer is more than 200km long and takes two days for riders to complete.

She is looking to raise $2500 to take part in the ride in August.

I'm hoping we can raise money to help leukemia research, it's such a worthy cause and the disease has affected my family so terribly.

Holly was diagnosed with the condition on February 10 and was to go through monthly chemotherapy until early 2015.

This year the Ride to Conquer Cancer brought out more than 1500 riders who raised more than $5 million for the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

Next year's ride, the third annual event, will be held August 17 and 18.

Queensland Institute of Medical Research director Professor Frank Gannon said the ride was a vital funding boost to the institute's cancer research program.

"This year, 23,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in Queensland and 7500 people will die from it," he said.

The ride gives a vital boost to the cancer program at QIMR and the resultant 27 ground-breaking research programs investigating the causes of more than 13 cancers including skin, brain, colorectal, breast, ovarian, blood and lymphoma.

To help her campaign to find a cure for leukemia, visit conquercancer.org.au, select the Brisbane ride and search for "Jody Struthers."

Topics:  leukemia, queensland institute of medical research, ride to conquer cancer



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