A THIRD battle medical and a dare between a brother and sister started the momentum for Love Your Sister – a fundraiser that aims to cover 15,000km, raise $1 million and raise awareness of breast cancer.
And while it started as a joke in the kitchen, it has turned into a promise.
Daylesford-born actor Samuel Johnson accepted the challenge from his sister, Connie, after she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.
His goal is to set a new Guinness World Record for the most distance travelled on a unicycle, raise $1 million and spread Connie’s message of breast cancer awareness.
The diagnosis is the third time Connie has battled cancer after she beat a rare and aggresive bone cancer in her leg at age 11 and overcame a tumor in her womb at age 22.
The cancer has spread to her lungs, pelvis, spine and knee and Connie's life expectancy is now between six and 12 months and it is spurring Samuel on to completing his challenge.
So far Johnson has travelled more than 13,000km and raised more than $1.2 million – nothing will stop him keeping his promise to Connie.
"What I’m doing is an act of love for my dying sister," Johnson said.
“It’s something I thought might take half the determination and battle of a cancer diagnosis.
"I promised to uphold Connie's legacy and it's a promise I will keep no matter what."
So far Johnson has unicycled his way up the east coast and back down through Tamworth, Dubbo and Albury, through the middle of Australia from Darwin to Adelaide, along the western coast of Australia and through Western Victoria.
After Bendigo, Johnson will visit his home town of Daylesford on January 8.
Johnson said the generosity of people has been overwhelming as has the number of people touched by Love Your Sister.
For Connie, the aim of Love Your Sister is also to raise the issue of early detection of breast cancer. Connie and Samuel's motto for the fundraiser has been: "Don't fall into the booby-trap, be breast aware."
People who want to donate to Love Your Sister can log on to www.loveyoursister.org, visit any Bendigo Bank branch, phone 1300 73 66 77 or contact the Garvan Research Foundation.
The Love Your Sister team will also be rattling tins and accepting donations as Samuel continues his journey around Australia.
If you’d like to send words of encouragement to Samuel or share your story you can email firstname.lastname@example.org