Insurance pros cycle and climb mountains in cancer fight

Insurance pros cycle and climb mountains in cancer fight | Insurance Business Australia

Insurance pros cycle and climb mountains in cancer fight

Some insurance professionals are stepping up and helping fight the battle against deadly diseases. In March, Stefan Feldmann (pictured above), head of HDI Global Asia Pacific is mounting his bicycle and joining the Tour de Cure Signature Tour. The annual ride of more than one thousand kilometres from Coffs Harbour’s Big Banana to Noosa, funds cancer research. Feldmann said it will be the longest ride he has ever done.

“The Tour de Cure Signature Tour brings together people from all corners of Australia who are researching for a cure,” said Feldmann. “What I also find particularly appealing is the incredible passion and dedication of the people behind Tour de Cure and the participating riders.”

Cancer research fundraising provides “crucial” money

He said the research is “crucial” to improve the prevention, detection and treatment of cancers.

“So far Tour de Cure has funded 96 major cancer breakthroughs and backed over 770 cancer projects,” said Feldmann. The Tour’s website details some of those concrete results:

“The generous support from Tour de Cure provided essential laboratory results to support a clinical trial for patients with pancreatic cancer,” says Phoebe Phillips, associate professor at the University of NSW on the website.

You can sponsor Feldmann at this link. The Sydney-based German native – like many of us – has strong personal reasons for taking part.

“Over the years I have witnessed family members, friends and colleagues suffering under the terrible impacts of a cancer diagnosis,” he said. “Many cancers can these days be cured if detected early and treated effectively.”

Read next: Industry CEO completes epic charity bike ride

Feldmann has many years of bicycling experience (see picture immediately below) that started when he was a toddler.

“Coming from Germany I basically grew up with cycling,” he said. “One of my earliest memories is that I cycled alone to my kindergarten at the age of three.”

Since then his enthusiasm for the two wheeler hasn’t waned.

“I have participated in various tours and cycling events in different parts of the world,” said Feldmann. “However, this Signature Tour from Coffs Harbour to Noosa will be the longest and probably the hardest I have ever done.”

Mountain climbing to fight cancer

Other industry colleagues recently announced their own bid to raise money to cure cancer.

Jaydon Burke-Douglas (pictured immediately below) and Chris Varkoly from the underwriting agency ProRisk, together with Varkoly’s wife Kerri-Anne, plan to climb the 15 tallest mountains in Australia in three days.

Read more: ProRisk launches fundraiser for people with cancer

“Over the years, I've been known to have done a lot of stupid things for charity,” said Burke-Douglas (pictured below), the firm’s general counsel and head of operations. Varkoly is national business development manager.

The Thredbo mountain climbing expedition is raising money to support the charity, Cancer Council Australia. You can donate to the cause on their GoFundMe page.

Burke-Douglas’s previous fundraising efforts include driving a tuk-tuk across India and also navigating a car from Sydney to Alice Springs via the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Playing golf to help stop MND

Meanwhile, last week, the brokerage McLardy McShane announced the fundraising results of its fifth annual Golf Day. The event raises money to fight motor neurone disease (MND).

Read next: Hole in one! McLardy McShane raises $105,000 for FightMND

“We raised over $125,000 for FightMND – our biggest Golf Day yet!” said Don McLardy (pictured immediately below), CEO of the McLardy McShane Group. McLardy said, over the years, their golf day has raised more than half a million dollars.

According to McLardy McShane, more than 120 people participated in the event at the Mornington Peninsula’s Moonah Links Golf Course, including former Essendon Football Club player and Melbourne coach Neale Daniher, who founded the FightMND charity.

McLardy and the firm’s director Mike McShane challenged each playing pair a $250 donation to beat their score. Reports suggest that happened often.

According to the Tour de Cure site, since the COVID-19 pandemic, funding for scientific and medical research of all kinds has dropped, with many projects cancelled and researchers losing their roles.

The Australian Academy of Science has reported that funding for research and development (R&D) as a percentage of the country’s gross domestic product has fallen over the last decade. Before the pandemic, the percentage was 1.79%, or $33 billion. The Academy and many experts argue that amount should be lifted to 3%.

However, cancer is one of Australia’s biggest killers. According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, the disease accounts for about three in every 10 deaths in Australia.

The government could be taking some steps in the right direction. In October, according to ABC News, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced $375 million in federal money to fund half the cost for a proposed WA Comprehensive Cancer Centre [WA CCC] in the upcoming federal budget.