Kerrie cycles through Vietnam to conquer cancer

Kerrie Skene and Sally Perry have conquered Vietnam and southern Cambodia on a bike all in the name of charity.

The duo has returned home after successfully pedalling their way 300 kilometres over 11 days across the two countries as part of this year's Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) Pink Pedal Challenge.

Ms Skene, who was herself diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in her spine in 2012, completed the trek after a year of preparation that involved raising enough money to finance the trip.

"Had it not been for the amazing level of support from people within the community, this wouldn't have been able to happen," she said.

Twenty people from across Australia were part of the group that completed the cycle in February and raised a combined total of $141,000.

Although continuing to undergo treatment for the cancer Ms Skene wasn't stopped in her tracks, at times adopting a strenuous training campaign to make sure she was as fit as possible for the trip.

"I thought I maybe could have trained a bit harder at times, but I am very fortunate my health held up and I think once we were there among the group the adrenalin set in so we were pretty right," she said.

The cycle took the two through Saigon and Mekong Delta in Vietnam before they crossed the border into Cambodia and visited locations including Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Temples of Angkor.

Ms Skene said the history was just as gripping as the scenery and environment.

"It really was a learning experience as much as anything else," she said.

"There is a lot of history in both Vietnam and Cambodia, and some of the atrocities that were committed most people here in Australia wouldn't be aware of."

To make the trip possible Kerrie and Sally had to first wage a year-long fundraising campaign.

They set up online sponsorship pages, received donations from Trash 'n' Treasure and Farmers Markets, a second hand book sale and generous individuals.

But it was those who attended a Jump 'n' Jive night at the Stawell Town Hall and helped to raise more than $9000 that had the biggest impact, gifting them the opportunity.

"We each had a minimum of $3000 to raise online for BCNA, I raised $5000 and Sally raised just over $3000," Ms Skene said.

"We needed another $4000 on top of that each to pay for our flights and accommodation."

The next BCNA walk will take in the Great Wall of China. Ms Skene has opted out of that one as she continues to take on a challenge much closer to home: her health.

Since her return Ms Skene has undergone more tests and treatment after scans revealed some new areas of concern.

February's Pink Pedal Challenge was run by Inspired Adventures and was a charity challenge to raise funds for BCNA.

The money raised from the challenge will help BCNA continue to provide resources, free of charge to women, including the My Journey Kit, for women newly diagnosed and the Hopes and Hurdles pack for those like Kerrie, who have been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer.

For more information on Inspired Adventures visit their website www.inspiredadventures.com.au and information about BCNA visit www.bcna.org.au.

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