GRACE Mackinnon is setting off on a scenic bicycle journey and while the route is a mystery, the ride is all about research.
Born and bred in Coffs Harbour, Ms Mackinnon is now based in Brisbane where she studies Medical Science at the Queensland University of Technology and said the annual Rio Tinto Ride to Conquer Cancer aims to raise vital funds for cancer research.
“Before I moved to Brisbane I hadn't ridden my bike since I was eight years old but now I ride to school and have been busy preparing,” Ms Mackinnon said.
“I got up at 6am yesterday and pulled on some warm clothes before heading on a big ride and it has taken commitment to get out of bed on cold mornings.
“I'm rallying for the cause because as a medical student I've learnt a great deal about cancer and the human body, so this ride means a lot to me.
“It's a chance to take the passion I've acquired from my study of cancer and the human body and help do something about it.”
Money raised will benefit the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) and more specifically go toward supporting breakthrough cancer research and the discovery of new therapies.
Researchers at QIMR are investigating the causes of more than 13 cancers, including skin, prostate, colorectal, breast, ovarian, lung and lymphoma.
Ms Mackinnon will be joined by thousands of men and women who share one thing in common – the desire to make a difference.
Riders will travel through Queensland's scenic countryside over two-days, August 20-21, and Ms Mackinnon said while the route is largely unknown to her she is looking forward to the adventure.
“With one in two Australians diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime I viewed the Rio Tinto Ride to Conquer Cancer as a call to action,” she said.
She has set a personal goal of $2500.
To help her reach this goal or to join her on this epic journey, visit http://www.conquercancer.org.au and click the donate link and follow the prompts to view her personal page, or call 1-300-11-RIDE.