Journey of Hope

http://www.journeyofhope.co.za/index.html

The Journey of Hope is a non-profit, registered Section 21 organisation managed by volunteers.  Their vision is to create awareness about breast cancer which in turn will lead to early detection and survival.  Basically, “creating awareness, saving lives” which is exactly what the Think Bike vision is.  The Journey of Hope method is to undertake a motorcycle tour by breast cancer survivors with the express purpose of spreading their message.

With the visions of Journey of Hope and Think Bike being almost identical and Journey of Hope using motorcycles as their vehicle, it is no surprise that Journey of Hope and Think Bike started working together a few years ago.  Initially, Think Bike helped with marshalling the annual Save the Boobies Run for Journey of Hope.  During 2011, some Think Bike members rode with the Journey of Hope ladies on the first day of their ride and by 2012, Journey of Hope and Think Bike’s relationship grew to a partnership whereby Think Bike would support Journey of Hope with training of riders, supporting riders and eventually marshalling the actual journey.

The Journey of Hope Campaign
This campaign brings with it a message of hope and encouragement in an optimistic, positive and unique manner through the courage and the drive of breast cancer survivors, who will ride through various parts the county on motorcycles.

The project was initiated by Diane Parker who was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2004. She had found support from other breast cancer survivors Chrissy Jeavons, Aileen Taylor and Nellie Ndwambi when the project, Biking for Breast Health, took place in October 2006.  The idea of Journey of Hope (a registered Section 21 company) grew from these early beginnings and there has been the Biking for Breath Health Ride in 2006, followed by Journey of Hope rides every year from 2008 to 2012.


The Concept
The Journey of Hope focuses on and celebrates the lives of breast cancer survivors. A group of breast cancer survivors from all walks of life travel across South Africa on motorcycles spreading the message of a positive attitude and of hope in a unique and vibrant way through the stories of these dynamic heroes. Appearances, talks and awareness workshops are held throughout the year, increasing the impact of Journey of Hope's message. During the week of the main ride, various schools, shopping centres and communities along the route are visited, spreading the message of hope across the country.

The 2012 ride took place between 6 and 14 October.  The ride was almost 2000km andafter departing Broederstroom, visited towns such as Bethlehem, Fouriesburg, Ficksburg, Clarens, Phutdatitjaba, Harrismith, Ladysmith, Dundee, Vryheid, Pongola, Hluhluwe, Eshowe, Kwasizabantu Mission near Stanger and finally Durban.  Then, another 600 kilometers to get back to Midrand.


Why concentrate on breast cancer?
In South Africa, the incidence of breast cancer has overtaken that of cervical cancer.  One in 27 women is diagnosed with breast cancer.   Cancer does not discriminate against colour or race as 17.9% of white women, 24.4% of Asian women, 18.2% of coloured women and 13.3% of African women are diagnosed with breast cancer.  With early detection and appropriate treatment, the survival rate is 95%.  Due to ignorance and lack of information and awareness, many women die of breast cancer in South Africa. This picture could look very different.


The Objectives of the annual journey:

  • To unite in our passion for creating awareness;
  • Reach out to South Africans in an effective manner;
  • Reach out to rural communities;
  • Assist in creating awareness through breast cancer support groups, motorcycle enthusiasts, and other clubs;
  • Organise fundraising events to support the awareness campaign;
  • Make it possible for women and men to go through a breast cancer screening process should they not have a medical aid or not be able to afford this;
  • Be instrumental in taking women and men, who walked the road of breast cancer, on their own journey of hope by supplying them with a prosthesis until they can receive a mastectomy;
  • Spread the message that breast cancer can be beaten if detected and treated early enough;
  • To collaborate with other organisations working for the same cause


Think Bike
Think Bike is proud to have been an integral part of the 2012 Journey of Hope journey, starting with breast cancer survivors who, in some cases have never ridden a motorcycle, to a point where some rode their bikes for the whole journey.  Although we encountered a heatwave, rainstorms and even fog, these ladies rode kilometre for kilometre as planned.  In between, they did their presentations with vigour and energy, sometimes in the heat of the Free State sun and sometimes in the middle of a KwaZulu Natal afternoon shower.

The synergy between Journey of Hope and Think Bike is clear to see and as such, Think Bike will endeavour to make the Journey of Hope training and actual ride safer and more fun for all.

For a full ride (and entertaining) report, please visit http://letsride-letsride.blogspot.com/