“Looking at Daniel now it is hard to believe he was really sick only a few years ago. He is such a fit and healthy guy.”
Adam Kiyuna’s brother Daniel was only 18 years of age when he was diagnosed with Carcinoma, three years ago.
Carcinoma is a cancer that first occurs in the tissue that lines the inner or outer surfaces of the body.
After having the majority of his tongue, neck muscles, salivary glands and lymph nodes removed, as part of his treatment, Daniel successfully completed a mechanical engineering degree.
“Dan was just incredible when he going through all of this. From his attitude you wouldn’t even know he was sick. He just got on with it,” Adam said.
Since undergoing treatment Daniel finished second in the 2012 Judo Queensland State Titles.
“We have both done judo for five years now, I wouldn’t want to verse him these days – I’m worried he may beat me. He is as fit and strong as ever,” Adam said.
Adam has done charity fundraisers before but this was his first time supporting cancer research.
“Mum has MS [multiple sclerosis] and Dad had a heart attack. I have done fundraisers to support research in to those illnesses and this time I wanted to support cancer research for Dan,” Adam said.
“He is my younger brother and I wanted to do something for him after all he has been through.
“I wanted to put my hand up to a challenge, something that everyone would think was impossible. My family has taught me a lot through their illnesses and I only need to think of them to realise that nothing is really impossible.
“That’s why I chose Smiling for Smiddy because I knew it was a challenge. I heard about Smiddy through friends and knew it funded cancer research.”
Adam is a ‘social cyclist’ and the Midi Smiddy event will be his longest cycle by a mile.
“I have been riding to work to prepare for the Midi Smiddy where I will be cycling from Brisbane to Toowoomba, Toowoomba to Warwick and Warwick back to Brisbane – in total 570 kilometres in 3 days.”
Adam said he was daunted about riding that far when he first signed up to Midi Smiddy, but he will be thinking of his brother Dan through the entire journey.
“Our family went through a difficult time when Dan was first diagnosed but Dan’s strength brought us all together. Dan never let his illness stop him from achieving anything.
“I hope to harness some of Dan’s strength and perseverance to complete the Midi Smiddy challenge.”
So far Adam has raised just under $2400 and aims to raise another $2600. You can help Adam reach his goal, by donating to his ride http://www.smiddyfundraising.com.au/adam_kiyuna.
Are you inspired by Adam and Daniel’s story and want to do your part to help fund cancer research at Mater? Take on your own Smiddy challenge, speak to our team today 07 3163 8000.
Smiling for Smiddy
Smiling for Smiddy was established in 2006 to honour the memory of Adam Smiddy, who passed away to an aggressive cancer in 2006 aged just 26. More than $3 million has been raised for cancer research and support services since. Smiling for Smiddy offers cycling and triathlon events to participants who want to challenge themselves while supporting cancer research.