Six cancer survivors gathered on the running tracks of National Cheng Chi University yesterday morning to announce a round-the-nation 10-day bicycle trip to spread the message of loving life by taking action.
They said they wanted to show other cancer patients with their cycling trip that being confident and holding a positive attitude toward life was the best cure for cancer.
Lian Kuo-chou (連國洲) said all of the team members had fought cancer and learned to never give up.
Moreover, they found exercise a good way to maintain their health and have been doing it regularly for years after recovering, he said.
Project co-organizer Wu -Hsing-chuan (吳興傳), a marathon trainer who has organized running and mountain climbing training for blind people, said he and his wife had suffered from cancer at the same time and he had really wanted to give up, but then remembered that he had often told trainees not to succumb to pain or give up easily when he was training them, so he held on and made it through.
Wu said having been through that period of pain from cancer and chemotherapy made him realize he must live a more meaningful life, so he dedicated the past years to promoting exercise to other patients.
“I think everyone has to find their motivating power in life, the motivation to live on,” project co--organizer Hsieh Ying-chung (謝永照) said. “And for me, it was my son’s wish.”
Hsieh said he had lost confidence in the first two years when he suffered from follicular thyroid cancer, but then gained strength to fight his cancer when he attended his son’s kindergarten graduation ceremony and heard children speak of what they wanted to be in the future.
Hsieh’s son said the only thing he wished for was for his dad to recover from cancer.
“I took up exercising, including swimming, running and cycling, after I recovered from cancer, and eventually attended ironman triathlon contests,” Hsieh said.
“What I really like about attending these exercise events is that it’s similar in some ways to fighting cancer: People can cheer for you, but you have to reach the destination by your own will and you can develop a positive attitude from it,” Hsieh said.
Team member Chen Liu-yu’s (陳劉裕) wife said he was worried about putting the heavy burden of handling their business on her to go on the trip, but she and their children all encouraged him to do so.
“I think he has become much healthier after taking up cycling; now he goes cycling every morning,” she said, adding that she was not worried about his physical condition.
Almost all the team members said the best advice they could give people who are fighting cancer — and people in general — was to be confident when facing medical procedures, be positive about life, eat healthily and exercise regularly.
The team is hoping to recruit four more members to join the trip, and will be training for the trip while continuing to raise funds for the project.
They plan to begin their 1,100km cycling trip from Taipei on Nov. 2.