At the end of November, Belinda and I travelled to South Australia for meetings with some of our charity partners.
During this visit we had the privilege of seeing the new Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer and the much-anticipated LIVESTRONG™ Cancer Research Centre that are both currently under construction. The visit was timely as 37 inspired people had just completed a 415km cycle around Vietnam and had raised over $185,000 for Flinders Medical Centre Foundation (FMCF) in the process.
Standing in hardhats and seeing this new $28 million dollar building come together with my own eyes was an amazing feeling. I felt the devotion, dedication and energy that our participants put into their fundraising efforts wash over me. I was in awe at the amazing work our charity partner, Flinders, is doing for cancer research. The pieces were all coming together.
This is what Inspired Adventures is really about. This is the feeling you get when you are able to enjoy the fruit of past labour. The seed that I planted all those years ago has sprouted into a unique fundraising tool that links the three things I am most passionate about: charity, adventure travel and empowering people from all walks of life to embark on life-changing experiences.
Those 37 people who took on the cycling challenge in Vietnam became known as ‘Team Flinders’. They wore the title with pride and each and every one of them had very personal reasons for taking on the dual-feat of a long-distance cycling adventure and a fundraising challenge for cancer.
Today I felt nothing but pride – pride in the individual achievements of each and every one of our participants and pride in the creation of what is undoubtedly set to be the best new cancer centre in Australia. The Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer is going to transform the way that care is delivered to cancer patients – from impersonal to personal, and from purely clinical to a more holistic and positive experience.
What struck my colleague Belinda the most was the dedication to creating a positive atmosphere to combat and overcome cancer.
“It wasn’t like walking into a hospital at all – it was more like walking into a hotel. One of the biggest changes is that out-patients coming in to receive treatment won’t have to walk past people in bed bays to get to their chemotherapy. They walk into a beautifully designed clinic that has been tailor made to make their treatment more personal, more humane and certainly more uplifting.”
For me it was the amount of light within the building – it was just a really beautiful space that emitted a positive atmosphere. More than that, this centre will be home to researchers who are working on groundbreaking and innovative new cancer treatments as well as intervention measures aimed at ‘halting the process before it becomes clinically apparent and a major burden on the community’.
This was all mind-blowing to see as I quietly envisioned the completed centre in my head.
The recent Vietnam Cycling Challenge was the third trip that Inspired Adventures and Flinders Medical Centre Foundation have teamed up on. We are very pleased to be working with Flinders in 2012 as they tackle Borneo for Breast Cancer in March and undertake the Great Wall of China Cancer Challenge in April.