Mon, Nov 06, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Anti-cancer association launches seventh bike tour

Staff writer, with CNA

Cancer patients, cancer survivors and supporters yesterday set off from Taipei 101 on a 10-day, 1,100km cycling trip around the island organized by the Taiwanese Anti-Cancer Association.

Photo: CNA

More than 40 cancer patients and survivors, including eight from Hong Kong, yesterday set off from Taipei on a 10-day, 1,100km cycling trip around Taiwan to encourage people with cancer to approach the illness with optimism and bravery.

A total of 105 people, including family members of the cancer survivors, physicians and nurses, are taking part in the Taiwanese Anti-Cancer Association’s seventh annual bicycle tour.

A Malaysian cancer patient is scheduled to join the tour once it reaches Yilan County.

The group is to cycle south along the east coast, head back north along the west coast and be back in Taipei on Nov. 14.

The trip’s rallying cry is: “Unbeatable riders, live out your dreams,” a message 71-year-old Thomas Chen (陳祥鵬) takes to heart.

Chen, who was diagnosed with lung cancer about five years ago, and his wife have taken part in the cycling tour three times already.

“Physical exercise is beneficial to cancer patients because it stimulates immune system response. Laughter can also boost the immune system,” Chen said.

“What scares cancer cells the most is laughter. This is the lesson I have learned while fighting cancer,” he said.

Wei Chuan-yen (魏銓延), an oncologist specializing in breast cancer at Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taitung, said studies have shown that women who exercise have a 40 percent lower risk of breast cancer and exercise also significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer recurring.

“I often encourage my patients to get regular exercise, and so I have to practice what I preach,” Wei said, adding that some of his patients are to meet the group in Taitung and ride with it for a portion of the trip.

Wong Kwok-ming (黃國鳴) said his group from Hong Kong is hoping to use the opportunity to raise money for sick children to help them fulfill their dreams.

“Now we are recovering from cancer. We want to give back for the help we received from the Taiwanese Anti-Cancer Association,” he said.

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