SALLY McLean has never let having leimyosarcoma slow her down.
After five years battling the rare cancer, the Ballarat netball coach wanted to help a cause close to her heart, completing the 200 kilometre Ride to Conquer Cancer at the weekend.
The two-day bike ride from Melbourne’s Albert Park to Healesville and back raised $6.2 million for the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre, the only hospital providing the treatment Ms McLean needs.
“It gave me a real sense of achievement,” Ms McLean said. “It was such a positive, happy and encouraging ride.”
Her bike carried a yellow flag, denoting a cancer sufferer or survivor, and she was buoyed by the encouragement she received.
“The hardest part was the third stage on day one, but because I had the yellow flag people kept saying ‘great job Sally’ and ‘keep going Sally’.
“There was even a cancer survivor who has been in remission for 11 years who checked in with me at each pitstop to make sure I was okay.
“I was also getting a lot of Facebook messages and texts from the netball girls asking for updates.”
Ms McLean has coached the Lakers senior netball team to five premierships in six years and also coaches Brown Hill in the The Athletes Foot Cup netball competition.
Her cancer, which affects smooth muscles, was diagnosed in 2007 when a tumour was found in her uterus during a hysterectomy.
Secondary cancers were found in her lungs, and 14 tumours were removed during seven operations over three years.
Ms McLean raised $3200 from her ride and will also donate $500 to the Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre.
Her biggest fundraiser was a function at JD’s Sportsbar earlier this month at which she was the guest speaker and the Red Lion Hotel provided the breakfast.