One of the 2014 teams in the Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer, 'Dad’s Army' was named in honour of their much-loved fathers.
|Bettyjo Francis' Dad, Joe|
Bettyjo Francis, better known as “Beej” started the team in memory of her 84 year old father Joe, who sadly passed away from lung cancer last year, despite not having smoked since he was 50. He was in the army during his younger years.
Beej was joined by her husband Brad, whose Dad Steve died from bowel cancer which later spread to his lungs and brain. He was also in the army.
Friend and team member, Marty was pedalling for his father, Matt Lobo, who passed away only a few weeks ago from pancreatic cancer while another rider in the Dad's Army team is currently battling cancer and in remission from a tumour behind his eye.
"Everyone has been touched by cancer," says Beej.
“When my Dad was diagnosed he seemed okay except for being a bit tired, but we thought that was his age and also he was busy looking after Mum who has a number of illnesses.”
“It was when he was undergoing chemotherapy treatment that he became really unwell. I really support medical research which will find new treatments for cancer which have fewer side effects.”
|Bettyjo with a photo of her Dad, Joe|
“I liked the idea of fundraising for the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research because it does other types of medical research as well as cancer; for example, Dad also had heart problems,” she says.
Thanks to Beej, who deferred her university studies to organise fundraising events, the team raised a substantial amount through a ladies’ wine tour, auction and disco, “Party for Poppa” family fun day and a chocolate drive.
|Dad's Army at the start line at the Ride|
Beej says that of all the team’s fundraising activities, the “Party for Poppa” was her favourite.
“Our kids don’t have a Poppa on either side of the family now, so I think we’ll make this a special annual event. It was great to bring together family and friends for a common goal,” she says.
“It makes me feel closer to Dad and it keeps his spirit alive.”
The Dad's Army team is recruiting now for the 2015 Maca Ride to Conquer Cancer, which promises to be bigger and better than ever. For more information visit their Facebook page.