‘I felt honoured and immensely grateful for the incredible efforts of the cycling group. They’ve been a pillar of support, making my circumstances more bearable.’
In a testament to solidarity and determination, the Skema 2 Sea cycling team completed an extraordinary 24-hour journey covering an impressive 450 kilometres.
The trip, starting in Hartswater and culminating near the Eswatini border in Clarence, saw this 10-member peloton pedalling tirelessly to support 18-year-old Jan Roux in his battle against myoepithelial carcinoma (MECA); an exceptionally rare form of cancer.
Reflecting on the monumental feat of the cycling team and the overwhelming support received, Jan, who is valiantly confronting this rare medical challenge, expressed profound gratitude. “I felt honoured and immensely grateful for the incredible efforts of the cycling group. They’ve been a pillar of support, making my circumstances more bearable,” Jan, deeply moved by the team’s dedication, told the DFA.
Jan’s journey traces back to February 2023, when, after the alarming diagnosis, he embarked on a challenging path of radiation and chemotherapy. “I began radiation and chemotherapy, necessitating constant travel, causing me to miss my entire matric year,” Jan recounted, emphasising the sacrifices made during those times due to the frequent hospital visits.
He recalled the emotional turbulence saying, “I felt emotional and grateful that there are still people like them (the Skema 2 Sea cycling team) who help not only me but other sick children.”
E, for a time, uncertainty clouded Jan’s treatment journey, especially when initial radiation sessions didn’t yield the desired results. “I became despondent upon learning that after 25 radiation sessions, there was no improvement. Starting chemo brought its own uncertainties,” he reflected.
Beyond merely fund-raising, Skema 2 Sea emerged as a beacon of hope, not just for Jan but for many others facing similar trials. “It served as a reminder to people that they are not alone,” Jan told the DFA. “There’s a community willing to extend a helping hand. It’s about giving hope!”
Jan’s aspirations transcend the cycling challenge itself; he hopes to raise awareness about MECA. “I hope this event helped people understand the nature of this cancer, its symptoms, and its danger, creating awareness about the struggles faced by those with cancer and their families,” he said.
He added that amidst his challenging journey, Skema 2 Sea and the community provided unwavering support to him. “The cycling group and the community were really helpful ‒ providing both financial aid and emotional support. They’ve been with us every step of the way,” Jan expressed tot he DFA with obvious and immense gratitude.
Although Jan couldn’t physically take part in the cycle tour due to his being hospitalised in Cape Town, his spirit remained intertwined with the event. “I regret not being able to express my gratitude in person and be part of the event physically,” he said. “Circumstances required my presence at the Cape Town hospital during those days.”
Reflecting on the tremendous support received, Jan recognised the power of unity and mutual assistance. “I realised that my family and I weren’t alone. Many stood by us, offering support and strength. It taught me the value of seeking and accepting help.”
In conclusion, Jan urged for the continuous backing of groups like the Skema 2 Sea. “I hope this event motivates others, like the cycling group, to persist in their support. Their efforts are indispensable in our fight against cancer,” he concluded, emphasising the crucial role of ongoing support in combating the disease.