This Sunday 27 September, almost 200 trucks and 50 motorbikes will come to together for Townsville’s annual Convoy for a Cure, to raise funds for vital research into childhood cancer.
Each year, this special charity event sees the local trucking community unite to support this much-loved charity event.
“For about an hour, the convoy shuts down the city of Townsville. As our numbers are capped at 200 trucks, most people try and get in as quickly as possible. With their $100 registration fee, truckies receive our number plates and they wear these as a badge of honour,” says Ren Pedersen, who sadly lost his daughter Amy to brain cancer 11 years ago. She passed away in May 2009, at just nine years of age.
“When she was diagnosed, there were no options given to us at the time, there was no research in Australia at the time and we went about addressing that.”
Pedersen set up the independent Australian arm of a charity called The Cure Starts Now, which aims to not only fight cancer, but eliminate it. The Cure Starts Now is the first cancer charity dedicated to a ‘holistic cure’. He has become a prominent, international advocate for children’s cancer research and has been nominated for Australian of the Year multiple times for his efforts.
The Convoy for a Cure is organised by Pedersen, together with Todd Martin. “Todd was the original convener of the event and we reunited a couple of years back to restart it. We wanted to not only thank our trucking mates but to reunite them and get them together to help raise money for terminal brain cancer,” Pedersen adds.
This year’s Convoy for a Cure faced additional challenges, with COVID-19 restrictions putting the event on hold. “It was originally meant to run in May – so this is third time lucky and nothing is going to stop us now. We’ve worked with the relevant authorities to ensure we can undertake the event within the current restrictions and guidelines,” adds Pedersen.
Now, it is set to take to the streets of Townsville this weekend – with the honour of Lead Truck still up for grabs. “On the morning of the Convoy for a Cure, we have an auction to determine who leads the convoy. A few years ago, the auction raised over $20,000. There is even a little Ford Trader that the owner bought for just $500 among the contenders – he’s determined to lead Australia’s only trucking convoy for 2020,” says Pedersen.