• Melanoma survivor embraces the Smiddy challenge

For 2013 Smiddy Rider Brenton Spher, this year’s challenge marks a significant milestone in his life…
“It will be 30 years since I was diagnosed with Melanoma,” Brenton said.
Brenton originally hails from Perth and now resides in the picturesque Blue Mountains of NSW—he trains solo during the week and is challenged by the undulating landscape and steep hills that surround his home.
He describes himself as a M.A.M.I.L (middle aged man in lyrca). After taking 15 years off from cycling and triathlon events, he is no longer a runner – his legs are “not the same as they used to be”. Despite this, Brenton is back in the saddle and determined to complete the eight day epic journey from Brisbane to Townsville.
“I hope that the hills are preparing me adequately for the steep ascents of Nee Hill which we will encounter on the first day of the Smiddy Challenge,” jokes Brenton.
“I feel lucky to have had 11 months to prepare for the challenge… I did a lot of riding when I was younger, then I gave it away, but nothing is stopping me this time.”
So far Brenton’s online fundraising total is sitting at an impressive $4 648!
“I’ve been dragged kicking and screaming into the world of modern technology, but I’m really enjoying updating my blog posts and have embraced online fundraising,” Brenton said.
Brenton, a seasoned charity supporter, also coordinated an exclusive dinner for 95 people with donated wine, a local chef, raffles and Australian Bush Poet Milton Taylor and his side-kick Greg to entertain his guests—with the event raising more than $3 000 for cancer research at Mater.
“The Smiling for Smiddy challenge means so much to me in so many ways,” he said.
“I already know this won’t be the last Smiddy event I do. I’m really looking forward to meeting Mark and all my fellow riders.
“Everything is so fantastically organised, it’s a great mix to raise money for cancer research and also an opportunity to embrace this challenge; the least I could do is roll up and raise a bit of money,” Brenton said.

The Mater Foundation is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission ABN 96723184640.