UPDATE: As a follow up since this post was originally published.
Chris was interviewed on race day and this video was posted on You Tube.
The original post is below the video.
Over 200kms riding throughout Queensland’s scenic countryside, the Ride to Conquer Cancer is on the 18-19th of August. Team Traffika headed up by my brother Chris Hennessey, will challenge themselves and make a difference in the fight against cancer.
The Ride to Conquer Cancer was established to raise funds for the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, one of Australia’s largest and most successful medical research institutes.
This is the second year Traffika has supported Chris in his very personal quest to fight this awful disease that affects 1 in 2 Australian by the age 85.
Chris’ wife Amy has battled cancer twice in 30 years. Firstly in July 2003, Amy had a ‘football sized’ tumour from her pelvis and lower back. The ground breaking, 16 hour operation was followed by 12 months of intensive chemotherapy. Despite having to learn to walk again, Amy’s incredible strength and determination saw her return to her job as a primary school teacher in January 2005, just 6 months after leaving hospital.
During the next three years she met Chris, fell in love, become engaged and married him in a magnificent ceremony surrounded by a large number of adoring family and friends. Life was perfect…until December 2007.
Just two months after their wedding, routine scans had revealed a relapse of a previous case of Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare but extremely aggressive form of cancer, this time in her right lung.
The day after her diagnosis, Amy had the tumour removed and with it the lower lobe of her right lung . This was followed by three cycles of chemotherapy. Her doctors then decided to play all their cards in an effort to rid Amy’s body of any remaining cancer cells. The decision was made to use Stem Cell Transplant technology in conjunction with three cycles of High Dose Chemotherapy drugs.
On April 26th 2008, one week after receiving the second of her stem cell transplants, Amy’s body decided enough was enough. Her heart began to swell and her body began to shut down. She was very swiftly transferred to the Intensive Care Unit at The Wesley Hospital.
After her first day in ICU, Amy’s doctor informed Chris that her body was simply not coping and she had been placed onto a life support ventilator. The next day her doctors revealed the most shocking news a husband could ever hear, Amy’s heart had reacted severely to the chemotherapy drugs and was very badly damaged. They told Chris to prepare for the worst and only gave her a 20% chance of survival.
What happened in the ensuing days was nothing short of a miracle. As our families took turns at her bedside we began to see subtle improvements in Amy’s condition. She woke up and attempted to communicate and although dazed and somewhat confused she continued to show further signs of recovery. To everyone’s amazement, only five days after being admitted to ICU, Amy was removed from the ventilator and was sitting up in bed.
Today, four years on, Amy has returned to the job she loves as a Curriculum Coordinator. Cancer is something that Amy and Chris live with in the back of their minds, knowing that they must face it every twelve weeks at her regular review scans. But she is a true inspiration to me and anyone who has been touched by her incredible story. Despite the uncertainty of her future health, Amy lives her life with great enthusiasm, positivity and zest and is a walking example of how strength, determination and positive attitude can overcome the most difficult of odds.
If you would like to step up and help Chris, Amy and team Traffika make a difference please make you donations here.