A RIGOROUS cancer treatment schedule won't stop Bendigo woman Gerry Bateman being involved in the Tour de Cure.
The 55-year-old will attend radiotherapy in Bendigo between stops on the 1400-kilometre, eight-day journey between Sydney and Geelong.
She's that determined to be part of the signature tour's support crew for a fifth time.
"I was always going to do number five," Mrs Bateman said.
Being diagnosed with a rare and aggressive type of breast cancer did nothing to weaken her resolve.
"My thoughts were, 'How can I do it?'"
She settled for a reduced role in the support crew. Mrs Bateman won't be driving the support cars this year. She'll also join the tour about halfway through, from Corryong.
Mrs Bateman has raised almost $60,000 for cancer prevention, research and care projects in the past five years through her involvement with the Tour de Cure.
She is aiming to raise $20,000 this year, having already blitzed her $10,000 target.
The Tour de Cure has generated more than $46 million for cancer research in 12 years.
It has funded 322 world-class cancer research support and prevention projects and resulted in 26 recognised cancer breakthroughs.
"Even if it doesn't help me, it might help people down the track," Mrs Bateman said.
She was positive about her treatment, which she said had been going 'pretty well'.
"I'm really passionate about people getting their [health] checks done," Mrs Bateman said.
She urged women to 'check your boobs', regularly, for any changes.
"It doesn't matter how old you are," Mrs Bateman said.
Loved ones lost inspired her involvement in the Tour de Cure.
Her brother, Bendigo inspector and National Police Service Medal recipient Gerry Rudkins, mother, Pat Rudkins, and lifelong friend, Janette Dyall, all died from cancer.
"It makes you feel like you're doing your bit," Mrs Bateman said.
Since being diagnosed with cancer in August, she has undergone surgery, chemotherapy, and six weeks of radiation therapy.
She's due to finish on May 17 - three weeks after this year's signature Tour de Cure kicks off.
A number of other central Victorians are getting involved in this year's event, including Bendigo real estate agent Paul Dalton.
Mr Dalton raised more than $45,000 for the McGrath Foundation and about $5000 for the Bendigo Health Cancer Centre with a 24-hour bicycle ride in Bendigo in 2017.
He arranged Ride 24 in support of his sister - Mrs Bateman's best friend, Mrs Dyall.
Mr Dalton got back on his bike last year to partake in his first Tour de Cure.
He's returning to the Sunrise Team this year, in celebration of teammate Mark Beretta's 10th anniversary ride and in honour of his sister.
Mr Dalton is also riding in support of Mrs Bateman.
He expected the riding conditions to be challenging - the cyclists have a 'massive amount of hill climbing and not the greatest weather' in store for them.
But Mr Dalton has been training for some time now, with McQuinns Gym among his supporters.
The route skirts around Bendigo, with stops in Shepparton and Daylesford.
Mr Dalton said family and friends planned to meet him at the finish line.
For Mrs Bateman, the hugs would start with her 'Tour de Cure family' upon arrival in Corryong.
To support to Mr Dalton or Mrs Bateman's fundraising campaigns, visit tourdecure.com.au/get-involved/make-a-donation/
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