Teen won't let cancer slow him down

Set for the 2014 Cruise for Cancer is Geoff Schmidt of the local Harley Owner’s Group (front) and event ambassador Billy Whittle.
Set for the 2014 Cruise for Cancer is Geoff Schmidt of the local Harley Owner’s Group (front) and event ambassador Billy Whittle. Nev Madsen

CANCER hasn't stopped 16-year-old Billy Whittle from going to school and it certainly hasn't stopped him from being the ambassador for this year's Cruise for Cancer.

The roaring annual fundraiser, organised by the Rotary Club of Toowoomba City and the Toowoomba branch of the Harley Owner's Group, is on again and the Concordia Lutheran College senior has been named the face of this year's event.

Billy ticks all the boxes for the role of ambassador and couldn't be prouder to take it on.

Doctors originally thought Billy had been bitten by a spider when a large and fast-growing sore appeared on his skin.

After two operations, he was correctly diagnosed with anaplastic t-cell lymphoma of the skin, and started radiation therapy in September last year.

By the time he needed his second round of chemotherapy it was time to start the first day of Year 12.

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He was strong enough to keep going to school and missed only 14 days in his first term.

He's still not in the clear yet but said it was a special moment to be named Cruise for Cancer Ambassador.

"I'm thrilled," he said.

"Giving back to others who have helped me is very good."

HOGs member Geoff Schmidt said he and other group members had already spent a fantastic day on their Harleys with Billy and his mum Andrea just in case he was too unwell to make it on the official day.

Pillion passengers can join the 200km ride on a thundering Harley Davidson for $120, including a t-shirt, morning tea and lunch.

Supporters can ride in the bus for $35.

The first $10,000 raised from this year's cruise will fund a room at the Olive McMahon Accommodation Lodge in Toowoomba, run by Cancer Council Queensland. Remaining funds will go towards CCQ's research, patient support, prevention and early detection programs.

To find out more or register phone Chris on 0412 442 937 or visit cruiseforcancer.net.au.



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