Declan’s Story

The young man that rode over 6,000 for breast cancer research

After tragically losing his mum Tania in 2015 from breast cancer, RMIT student Declan wanted to do something to honour her and fight back against the devastating disease.

The 23-year old from Swan Hill decided to raise money for Cancer Council Victoria, but knew his fundraising challenge had to be something pretty significant to attract attention. 

I knew it had to be something that inspires people and requires a lot of physical effort, to look at ‘Ride to a Cure’ and inspire people to give.

On 3 April this year Declan set out on his bike, departing Federation Square and riding nearly 6,000km to Darwin. Tracking his ride across Australia by posting videos and updating his Facebook page, Declan surpassed expectations by raising $75,000.

Declan rode along the Eastern coastline passing through Byron Bay and Rockhampton, where his father Vincent joined him, before central Queensland and the Northern Territory. He completed the gruelling ride in just over two months, arriving in Darwin on 12 June.

Declan Foott - 6,000 miles for breast cancer research

Vincent said of Declan’s determined efforts, “Tania would be very proud …seeing all parts of Australia, meeting some fantastic people and raising money in honour of Tania to help others was incredible”.

Fortunately Declan’s tough training regime, which involved riding 350 to 400km a week, helped to prepare him for this mighty challenge.

“Through all the really tough times out on my own or in the wilderness with dad, I made a decision that whenever faced with challenges, I would keep going and never give in,” he said, all the while carrying photos of his mum Tania, friends and family to motivate him along the way.

Declan was only ten years old when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She passed away after 11 years of living with the disease.

Greatly surpassing his initial fundraising target of $10,000, Declan’s incredible efforts made him eligible for a Cancer Council Victoria Research Awards.

Declan chose to put the funds raised towards improving mammogram machines, and a research project on the type of cancer his mum, Tania had – a HER2+ Receptor Tumour.

Declan has inspired many people and now has almost 1,000 followers on his Facebook Page.

“I took on the event to help give back to the Swan Hill Community and my close friends who got me through some tough times…I wanted to show them how much their unthanked kindness was undoubtedly appreciated.”

Since his return he currently studying at RMIT and taking upon public speaking training at Cancer Council Victoria to share his inspirational story across Australia.

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