HALLS Gap resident Cassie Hebbard can clearly remember the last time she saw her Gran.
“It was a Tuesday, I was in a PE class and my mind was with her,’’ she said.
“I had been in to see her earlier but was told she was sleeping.
“I blew a kiss and sent her some sugar – little did I know it would be the last time.’’
Miss Hebbard’s grandmother died later that day from the cancer that had infected almost her entire body.
It was Miss Hebbard’s first personal experience with cancer, but not her last.
A desire to change that has motivated her to cycle 200 kilometres as part of the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
She said she would ride in honour of her Gran.
Another source of inspiration is a close friend who is close to finishing chemotherapy.
“Cancer will affect one in two people in their lifetime,’’ Miss Hebbard said.
“To me that is a pretty scary prospect.’’
Miss Hebbard, 23, said she had never done anything like the ride before.
She said it was a small way she could help make a difference.
“I am always searching for new ways to help out in the community and this was an opportunity too good to pass up,’’ she said.
Miss Hebbard has struggled to train for the ride after suffering a stomach bug but said it was important she took part.
“It would be easy to pull out, it would be easy to say it is too hard with so little training but I won’t,’’ she said.
“People struggle with cancer for years, they feel horrible during treatment – I have the ability and the health to ride.
“It’s something small I can do to help.’’
The Melbourne ride stretches from Albert Park to Hastings and benefits the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Miss Hebbard started with an aim to raise $2500 but has already raised almost $5000.
She said people could donate to her by visiting ml13.conquercancer.org.au, clicking donate and searching for Cass Hebbard.
She encouraged people to support the event.
“My hope and dream is that my children do not know cancer as well as I do,’’ she said.
“My dream is that maybe some day there is a cure for cancer.’’