CO-FOUNDER and director of the Live for Lily Foundation Aaron Hester has conquered Tasmania’s rugged terrain after cycling around the island state to raise funds for life saving research at the Children’s Cancer Institute in honour of his late nine-year-old daughter Lily.
Now in its fourth year, the Ride for Lily made its debut in Tasmania, with 30 cyclists riding 1000 kilometres and ascending more than 10,000 metres elevation.
The ride commenced in Launceston, with riders embarking on a trail to Cradle Mountain before following the east coast down to Hobart.
The ride concluded with an ascent up Mount Wellington before finishing at the Riverfront Motel in Rosetta.
The Live for Lily Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation that was established in honour of Mr Hester’s daughter Lily, who was diagnosed with an extremely rare liver cancer in July 2013.
Lily sadly passed away on 11 August 2014.
Mr Hester’s wife and co-founder of the Live for Lily Foundation Sianne Hester was later diagnosed with a rare type of breast cancer and passed away on 30 May 2016, leaving Mr Hester and his two sons to mourn.
Mr Hester has since been working tirelessly to help find a cure for childhood cancer so no child or parent would have to endure what his family did.
“People aren’t aware that childhood cancer is the number one killer of Australian children, with three children every week succumbing to it – it’s bigger than a lot of people know,” Mr Hester said.
“Childhood cancer is a lot different to adult cancer, yet we still continue to give kids an adult regime.
“The Children’s Cancer Institute solely focuses on childhood cancer, and as such, the institute’s Zero Childhood Cancer Program centres around personalised medicine for a child’s individual tumour.”
Mr Hester said more than $250,000 was raised during this year’s Ride for Lily.
“It’s something that all riders feel very connected to – they wholeheartedly believe in what they’re doing,” he said.
Caption: Cyclists on the Ride for Lily begin their final climb up Mount Wellington. Photo credit: Adam Elwood.