Corowa paramedic David Daly has cycled more than 1,000 kilometres in a week to raise awareness about the deathly consequences of melanoma.
- The paramedic has ridden 1,000km around the Riverina to raise awareness about skin cancer
- He says a person is diagnosed with melanoma every 30 minutes
- This year's Riverina Melanoma Ride has been postponed to March
Working in a regional hospital in south-west New South Wales, the 41-year-old has seen his fair share of families devastated by what he says is a commonly misunderstood disease.
"As a paramedic, I'm always sort of at the other end of the regime of treatment, where I'm the one putting a bandaid on at the end for most people," he said.
"There's been too many times when I've been to palliative care patients where their cancer has originated from melanoma, and they've been young families, young men and women the same age as myself, just seeing them leaving family behind.
Mr Daly said some people did not understand that skin cancer could be deadly.
"It's about every 30 minutes there's a diagnosis of melanoma, and people don't realise it can become something that's malignant and can move into other body systems and eventually can lead to death."
Pedalling for a cause
This year's Riding for Melanoma fundraising event was postponed when COVID-19 cases in the region began to appear.
It has been rescheduled for March, but because Mr Daly could not make the new dates, he decided to jump on his bike and pedal for a cause sooner rather than later.
The cyclist made his way from Corowa to Albury to Jerilderie and climbed up the back of Mount Stanley into Beechworth, back to Corowa and finished at Monument Hill at Albury.
Mr Daly was scheduled to appear in schools to teach children about the importance of sun safety but was not able to.
His initial fundraising target was $6,000.
"Collectively, we've been able to raise over that ... personal donations plus two corporate donations, I think we're at about $6,200," he said.
"All the donations that come through go to the Amie St Clair Foundation which is part of the Melanoma Institute of Australia."
Mr Daly said he wanted to play a part in prevention through raising awareness of the importance of being sun smart and getting your skin checked.
"If there's a way to prevent something, and melanoma is definitely a preventable type of cancer if we look after our skin, then I want to play my part in that."