Sat, Oct 26, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Cancer cyclists on tour across Taiwan

KEEPING FIT:Huang Chun-hung, one of the 12 cyclists, said that part of his long battle with cancer has involved exercise — including cycling — to boost his strength

Staff writer, with CNA

Cancer patient Huang Chun-hung, front, and other cyclists with cancer pose for a photograph in Kaohsiung on Thursday before heading toward Pingtung County’s Oluanpi.

Photo: CNA

Twelve Taiwanese and Hong Kong cancer patients are cycling around Taiwan to test their mettle, the group said on Thursday.

On the fifth day of their tour, the cyclists were in Kaohsiung and, after a vigorous warmup, headed toward Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻) on Taiwan’s southern tip.

Since setting off from Taipei on Sunday, they said they have been riding eight hours a day, pushing themselves to the limit of their endurance and seeing if they could overcome their physical limitations.

“If I am not strong enough, nobody will give me the endurance” to stand up and fight, said Huang Chun-hung (黃俊鴻), 42, who was diagnosed four years ago with stage four nasopharyngeal cancer.

Since being diagnosed, Huang said that he has had to make major lifestyle changes, including quitting his job so that he could undergo regular long-term treatment.

However, the treatment not only made him weak, he also lost his appetite and was despondent, he said.

As part of his long battle with cancer, Huang said that he has exercised, including cycling, to improve his strength.

Cycling has helped him with problems, such as insomnia, and built up his strength, said Huang, who organized the round-the-island tour.

Huang said he has also been sharing his experience on social media and encouraging other cancer patients to go cycling around Taiwan to prove that cancer does not have to keep one from enjoying life.

Chan Ting-wai (陳定偉), a 31-year-old sports enthusiast from Hong Kong, said he became depressed after being diagnosed two years ago with stage-two lymphoma, adding that he needed to undergo 30 sessions of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

However, sharing his feelings reignited his hopes and passion for life, he said.

Since he started cycling as part of his exercise routine, he has become healthy and robust, Chang said, adding that he would encourage other cancer patients to explore the outdoors and to enjoy life.

The 12 aim to ride 1,200km, finishing their tour in southern Taiwan on Tuesday.

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