HALLS GAP - Cassie Hebbard has a story that will resonate with anyone who has been affected by cancer.
The Halls Gap woman lost her grandmother to the disease and not long after her grandfather was diagnosed as well.
Instead of dwelling on what she has lost she will take part in a 200 kilometre bicycle ride to show what she can do to make a difference to the lives of people less fortunate than her.
Ms Hebbard will 'Ride To Conquer Cancer' on October 26 and 27 with all funds raised going straight to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
The centre is vital for the research and testing of new drugs and therapies which seek to cut down the prevalence of cancer in Australian's lives.
In the case of Ms Hebbard's Gran diagnosis came too late, the cancer had spread to most of her body.
She still remembers the last morning she spent with her Gran very well.
"I was in a P E class and my mind was with her. I had been in to see her earlier, but was told she was sleeping," she said.
"I blew a kiss and sent her some sugar - little did I know this would be the last time.
"Just a few months after Gran had passed away my Pa went in for some tests on a lump. He too was diagnosed and given six months to live."
Unlike her grandmother the path for her grandfather would be very different, with positive results.
"After many operations, radiation and bucket loads of determination, almost five years on my Pa will be 82 this year and is still fitter than most 60 year olds."
Ms Hebbard said the fact cancer will affect every one in two people in their lifetime is a pretty scary prospect.
"Cancer is the second leading cause of Australian deaths and affects almost 20% of the population," she said.
"More than 43,000 people are expected to die from cancer - these facts are too extreme to ignore."
Ms Hebbard said she will be riding in a peloton of riders, who like her, have a reason for taking part and their own stories to tell.
"I aim to raise $2500 and I am currently looking for sponsors to raise as much money as I can," she said.
Ms Hebbard who is a keen bike rider and currently studying to become a personal trainer said the biggest challenge she faced in the lead up to the event was finding time to train.
"Obviously when you set out on an adventure like this, you always want to be prepared and feel fit," Ms Hebbard said.
She said returning from Nepal with a stomach bug left her in a worse condition than she would have liked leading up to the ride, but that wasn't going to stop her.
"It would be easy to pull out, it would be easy to say it is too hard with so little training, but I won't," she said.
"People struggle with cancer for years, they feel horrible during treatment - I have the ability and the health to ride. It's something small I can do to help.
"That is why I think it is so important to still take part."
To show your support online head to to ml13.conquercancer.org.au, click donate at the top of the page, enter 'Cass Hebbard' into the search for rider field, click donate and follow the process.
Cash donations can be made in person, or to Absolute Outdoors in Halls Gap.
"I will be riding in honour of my Gran and the countless relatives, friends and extended family and in support of the millions of people who are diagnosed with cancer each year," Ms Hebbard said.
"My hope and dream is that my children do not know cancer as well as I do and that maybe someday there is a cure."
If you would like to know more about Cassie's fundraising effort visit http://ml13.conquercancer.org.au/site/TR/Events/Melbourne2013?px=1282825&pg=personal&fr_id=1111.