FUNDRAISING champion Mark Williams is defying the odds to spread word of the most life-threatening form of skin cancer for young people.
The Wanneroo resident said melanoma was a largely preventable cancer and yet it had become the most common form of cancer among 15 to 39 year olds.
“When I was younger, I wasn’t looking after my skin; my surgeon said the cancer lay dormant for years,” he said.
“I want to help save the lives of young kids; I want them to know what melanoma is.”
The father-of-two teenagers teamed with 30 other cyclists for the inaugural Mission for melanomaWA bike ride last Friday and Saturday.
Setting off from John Forrest National Park, the 160km continued Railway Reserve Heritage Train to Northam and back.
Riders cycling for melanomaWA stopped at several schools en route including Eastern Hills Senior High School, where Mr Williams spoke about the effects of unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultra violet rays.
His fundraising effort alone raised more than $3000 for the campaign, only two weeks after he completed a five-week course of daily radiotherapy.
Several of his supporters were on hand to help change the bandages that protected blisters under his arms, an after-effect of his recent cancer treatment.
He said his cancer started as a single, malignant mole on his back in 2013, then the disease spread to his lymphatic system and he required invasive surgery.
The long-time fitness enthusiast said he was determined to stay active, even though he is in remission from stage-three metastatic cancer.
“I want to show people that cancer can’t stop you doing things to inspire others,” he said.
“I’ve always been active and fit; it’s important people realise cancer does not discriminate and everyone needs to protect their skin.”
He urged people from an early age to follow the ‘slip, slop, slap, seek, slide’ safety message year-round.
The keen marathon runner took part in the City to Surf last month, and has several other events in the pipeline including the Busselton Iron Man.
To support Mark’s campaign, visit give.everydayhero.com/au/mark-williams-1.
Slip on a shirt
Slop on sunscreen
Slap on a hat
Slide on sunglasses