Maike van Niekerk has seen the toll having to travel to St. John’s for radiation treatment can have on cancer patients in the province.
When she was in Grade 10, she lost her mother, Katrin, to breast cancer. Prior to her death, Katrin frequently made the long drive across the island for treatment.
To honour her mother’s memory and to help other cancer patients, van Niekerk began the organization Katrin’s Karepackage in 2013.
This August, she will be bicycling from St. Anthony to St. John’s in support of the Canadian Cancer Society with the hopes of raising $30,000 to help offset travel expenses for cancer patients and their families commuting to the capital city, where the only radiation centre on the island is located.
The 19-year-old’s 1,000 kilometre run will symbolize a cancer patient’s long journey to access treatment.
“While the provincial government provides some funding for transportation, it is limited and often is not enough,” van Niekerk said in a statement.
“This is a problem the Canadian Cancer Society has recognized as being the biggest problem facing cancer patients in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Her ride is expected to run from today until Aug. 13, starting in St. Anthony
The Northern Pen
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