Sarah rides for Rainbows
- By: Sarah Steadman
- Short URL: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/sarah-rides-for-rainbows
“I decided to ride the 94.7 for Rainbows and Smiles this year having lost my mum to breast cancer 5 and a half years ago. My mum lived for 8 years from her initial diagnosis and she saw 3 of her grandchildren be born. They were 1, 6 and 8 years old when my mum passed away and she was forever grateful that she was able to see them and that she never died within 3 weeks of her diagnosis. My mum never questioned: “Why her, why did SHE get cancer?”. She was never miserable that she had the disease or angry and she simply accepted that she was one of the people that just happened to get the disease. My mum would constantly say that it was not a big deal really that she had cancer as it is far better that she has the disease and passes away from it than a poor child of 3 or 4 years old – she just couldn’t bear the thought of a child dying. She felt lucky that she had 8 years to see her grandchildren and always said she was one of the fortunate cancer patients. She didn’t want her life to end (who does?) but she thought 55 years was not a bad “innings” in comparison to children who pass away from the disease or people who die within a few weeks. She felt blessed to be granted 8 years. My mum never made her 56th birthday. I think she was young, she thought she was lucky to get 55 years. My mum Jill (affectionately known by all as Jilly) was incredibly brave and she fought the disease like a champion (she gave the fight her all), she never complained and always smiled and she always accepted her fate. She managed to attend Rod Stewart’s concert 4 weeks before she died (the last day she walked). She had no energy, she could hardly walk but she sat in that arena and weakly lifted her hands in the air, smiling the whole time. It was our last outing together. I only cried in front of my mum the day I told her there was nothing else that could be done for her and we needed to look at Hospice. I momentarily lost my bravery. My mother said: “Okay then, that’s it then, nothing to be done, let’s make plans”. I was not allowed to use the word hero at her funeral or any other words showcasing her in any other light than “normal” or by placing her on a pedestal. She felt she was no hero but simply a person fighting a disease. She did not want to have a hero’s funeral.
After my mum passed away I unconsciously switched myself off from cancer and I have done absolutely nothing to raise funds for cancer or to be around anything to do with the disease. My mother’s mother died of cancer before the age of 60 and not long after my mum passed away, her brother also passed away from cancer – also not quite 60! It’s safe to say that I loathe cancer and I turned out the lights and vacated myself from the cancer building! Clearly I didn’t get the brave genes……….
I came across Rainbows and Smiles by accident due to instructing spinning and I did a spinathon raising money for the charity this year. A spin member Sandra happened to say to me one day, why don’t you spin for Rainbows and Smiles – your mother’s death wouldn’t be in vain. It struck a chord. Thanks Sandra, I am eternally grateful to you. I looked the charity up and got in touch with the founder Bonita and I saw a number of pictures and read some heart wrenching stories of children under the age of 5 and 4, babies and older children, 11 years, who have died from various forms of cancer. The pictures alone are soul destroying, gut wrenching but yet true. Faces of children all ages, all bald but ALL smiling, all whom have passed away. You can feel the families pain and anguish behind their smiles and when you see the face of a suffering child, it touches you and it affects you. I cannot get the pictures out of my mind. However, unconsciously – this turned my lights back on and I have re-entered the cancer buildings – YES!!!!. It is sad, it is hard to deal with and it is emotional BUT it is very, very REAL. I am alive, I am healthy, I do have 2 arms, 2 legs, no diseases, I am fit and active, I have a beautiful daughter, a nice home, 2 gorgeous dogs, loads of friends, a great job and more love and joy than I can wish for. I CAN do something, I CAN help, it DOES matter, EVERY person’s help means something and every bit CAN help save a life. I AM BRAVE ENOUGH.
I am not spiritual or religious but I do feel like I needed to do this race in my mother’s honour as she felt so strongly about small children not contracting this appalling disease. Maybe she was sending me a sign. LOL. Rainbows and Smiles is for the early detection of cancer in children so it was the perfect charity for me. I read about Jed, the child who passed away from cancer and I just sobbed. His brave mummy Bonita (the founder of the charity) is an inspiration and she raises money for other cancer sufferers (children) as her son’s wish was that his friends with “ballies” (tumours) be saved. How can I NOT ride for this charity. I will also be riding in Jed’s memory and honour. How fortunate am I that I am able to get on a bicycle in the sunshine and cycle with thousands of other people whilst having great fun at the same time AND to raise money.
Apart from all the gushy stuff, I have been instructing spinning for 2.5 years, I am a complete energy ball and I love, love, love, love, love instructing. I am in the happy zone when I am on that bike. I have done the 94.7 for fun before but never to race. This year I swap the mountain bike for a road bike (yikes) and I pedal for time! I am fit and strong (and 40 in 3 weeks!) and I have been training on the road. I am psyched, excited, stoked and READY to ride this race. I motivate the spin members by telling them about kids suffering from cancer – then they work! I am totally motivated, driven, determined and focused to ride this race, grit and bear the pain and do it in my best time for Jilly and Jed!! WHOOP WHOOP, HOOHAA, LET’S DO IT!!!!
PLEASE sponsor me in this race per kilometre. It’s 94.7 kilometres so R1 a kilometre is R94.70. ALL the money goes to the charity which means financial, emotional support for the families and detecting cancer EARLY in children thus hopefully saving lives. AWESOMENESS.
My aim is R10 000.00 but I hope to exceed it!
P.S: Knowing the Irish in my mum she is probably sat with a lager high fiving Jed saying, it only took me 5.5 years to get my Sarah to do something! I swear even in heaven she is still fighting!
- Nov 30, 2014 - R 60.00
- "Well done Sarah, I knew you'd do it" - Lulu
- Nov 24, 2014 - R 947.00
- "Well Done Sarah" - Shaun Minnie
- Nov 22, 2014 - R 500.00
- "Well done on finishing the 94.7. No stopping off for picnics next year!" - Di Page
- Nov 11, 2014 - R 500.00
- "You go girl! We know you will do a fabulous ride :)" - Jen and Greg
- Nov 07, 2014 - R 500.00
- "Hope its not too hot ! Good luck and well done all round" - Patrick
- Nov 07, 2014 - R 30.00
- "Go well!" - Jenny
- Nov 07, 2014 - R 300.00
- "Best of luck!" - Jacqui
- Oct 30, 2014 - R 200.00
- "Go for it Sarah!" - Claire Barnardo
- Oct 30, 2014 - R 500.00
- "You go Sarah! :)" - Jackie
- Oct 29, 2014 - R 100.00
- " From Natalie Matthews, R70, Go for it my crazy friend! From Nqobile, R30, Go my favourite spin instructor, kill it! " - Natalie Matthews
- Oct 29, 2014 - R 30.00
- "Best wishes" - Anon
- Oct 17, 2014 - R 1 100.00
- "Spin fee for September, I am going to ride hard for these kids!!" - Sarah
- Oct 17, 2014 - R 130.00
- "Sarah you will smash it" - Candy
- Sep 20, 2014 - R 400.00
- "You can do it Sarah!" - Giles
- Sep 15, 2014 - R 1 500.00
- "Wish you the best, and it is a great Charity...go for it Sarah" - Achadinha Family
- Sep 15, 2014 - R 1 320.00
- "This is my spin fee for this month, as promised, donated to the charity" - Super Spinner Sarah
- Aug 15, 2014 - R 100.00
- "You Go Sarah!" - Rob
Rainbows and Smiles Foundation
The mission of Rainbows and Smiles is to provide emotional, social and financial support to families and caregivers in need when a child or children of that family is diagnosed with a life threatening illness such as cancer. In addition, Rainbows and Smiles encourage childhood cancer awareness to educate in the hope of promoting early detection.
To set up your own fundraising page for Rainbows and Smiles click here