I do realise I am 70 years old and I am slowing down - it will take its toll - but I am confident I'll complete the ride.Michael van Ewijk
Age is just a number to 70-year-old cycling enthusiast Michael van Ewijk, who will be riding through the MIA on a 700-kilometre journey to combat cancer.
For 15 years, Mr van Ewijk has been living with a form of blood cancer called Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia which attacks the body's red blood cells.
"I had felt fatigued and anaemic for a while when I decided to go to the doctor," he said.
"My GP didn't know what it was at the time."
This uncommon cancer is a form on non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, with only around five diagnoses each year in Australia.
One of Mr van Ewijk's passions has always been cycling and he has been able to maintain his motivation for it with the help of innovative to targeted therapy.
"Initially, my treatment was chemotherapy which knocks you around a bit," he said.
"But I was put onto a new targeted therapy drug Ibrutinib which doesn't have the side effects that chemo does and it keep the illness under control."
Mr van Ewijk, who resides in Milton on the NSW south coast, has taken part in a number of fundraising rides in the past and has already raised over $7000 of his $10,000 target for the Leukaemia Foundation.
The journey will begin in Balranald and pass through Deniliquin, Jerilderie, Boree Creek, Griffith and Narrandera before finishing in Wagga. He will be taking on the 700km ride from Balranald to Wagga with his partner Elizabeth Muntz trailing in a support vehicle and while the trek is a long one, Mr van Ewijk is sure he'll make the journey.
"I do realise I am 70 years old and I am slowing down - it will take its toll - but I am confident I'll complete the ride," he said.
He is expecting to pass through Griffith on Wednesday, September 30. To make a donation to his fundraising effort visit celebrateleukaemiafoundation.everydayhero.com.