As October rolls around, the annual Great Cycle Challenge also greets us! Started in 2013, in just 5 years, it has become one of Australia’s biggest cycling events. This challenge calls for all people, young and old, to jump back on their bikes and start peddling to fundraise for cancer research and increase awareness of childhood cancer.

For the last few years, I have had the opportunity to participate in this challenge with team “Al Siraat.”

Our Australian community of 42,498 riders from all 6 states and 2 territories have ridden a total of 10,305,632km, and together we’ve raised $12,280,194 that have been gifted to the National Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI).

This has only been possible due to the collective efforts of every individual involved and every donation, big and small, contributed to the amount collected.

This year I have set my riding goal to 60 km, and although my fundraising goal was $100, thanks to our generous sponsors in the Al Siraat and Epping community, I have already surpassed my goal.

Members of Team Al Siraat, Mariam and Tanya, in their Great Cycle Challenge jerseys.

Alongside my co-members; Tanya Kubitza, Mariam Moeladawilah and Br Sadaf Gauhar, we have ridden approximately 90 km so far this year, and have raised $3326. With less than 10 days till the end of October and the close of this great challenge, we will try our best to reach our goal of riding 150 km.

With Allah’s help, we hope to continue this challenge again next year, and once again participate in an event where we can make a difference to children’s lives, once pedal at a time.

As a Biomedical Science student myself, I have recently gained a fair amount of insight into the severity and destruction of cancers.

The most heartbreaking cases are always the one involving children, with many experiences yet to have felt, and so many beauties of Allah that they are yet to discover. Many young cancer patients require regular doses of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgeries, and therefore, most of their precious childhood is taken up by the memories of the clinical hospitals and painful needles.

It is also narrated in a Hadith that “There is no disease that Allah has sent down except that He also has sent down its treatment.” (Sahih Bukhari).

Therefore, as Muslims, it is our moral obligation to find the cure and treatments for malicious diseases such as cancer and give our children a chance to shine in their communities. And what better way to raise awareness on this issue than by hopping on our bikes and going for a spin around our suburbs?

While also increasing the physical activity and encouraging others to also increase their daily activity, it provides the means of funding further research into developing newer and more efficacious therapeutics for cancer patients.