Why Simon is Riding 1000kms for Kids Facing Cancer
Simon Morris knows firsthand how important Camp Quality’s services and programs are for families facing a cancer diagnosis. He has overcome incredible challenges including cancer as a child, a meningioma (non-cancerous brain tumour) in March this year and COVID-19 lockdown. But nothing is stopping Simon from taking on the 1,000Ks 4 Kids challenge this September.
At the age of nine, Simon was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He had to travel from Maitland to Sydney for treatment.
Simon was introduced to Camp Quality he was in hospital undergoing cancer treatment. At the time, over three decades ago, there were no facilities in the Hunter region that could provide the necessary treatment, meaning nearly two years of Simon’s life was spent in the Prince of Wales Hospital with his mum while his dad looked after his brother and three sisters, at home in Maitland.
Camp Quality provided Simon and his family with much needed support in hospital and the chance to have some breaks from cancer on Camp Quality Retreats. Later Simon's family found out that Camp Quality ran Kids Camps just 20 minutes from his house.
Both he and his siblings could attend the exciting Camp Quality Kid's Camps. A young farmer boy at heart, Simon recalls all the exciting activities that made him feel like a regular kid, for just the moment, like abseiling, canoeing, fishing and horse riding – just to name a few! The biggest highlight for Simon was making friendships with other kids that understand what it was like facing cancer.
Earlier on this year, Simon went through another cancer scare after many migraines and headaches lead to an MRI. A meningioma (tumour) was found on the edge of his brain and just four days later, Simon underwent surgery to have it removed. After a painstakingly long wait for his results, it was found the tumour was not cancerous. The joy of the news had Simon and his best friend wrapped in each other’s arms, both in tears in the middle of the kitchen.
The recent surgery had Simon out of training for a while, but he is easing into bike riding again and is on his way to complete Camp Quality’s 1000Ks 4 Kids in the month of September.
Simon says joining the 1000Ks 4 Kids as one of the best decisions he has ever made, having met so many people since the first ride, yet again Camp Quality has helped him make life-long friendships.
1,000Ks 4 Kids is an annual riding challenge that usually takes participants from the Newcastle region on a 1,000km 10 day journey. Due to COVID-19, the event has moved online, and participants ride the 1,000kms in virtual teams during the month of September. This year is aiming to raise a huge $170,000 for kids impacted by cancer.
Will you support Simon in his epic 1,000km journey?