Scone man Mark Heanley riding to raise money for research into childhood cancer

RIDE ON: Scone resident Mark Heanley is on a mission this month to raise money for research into childhood cancer.

RIDE ON: Scone resident Mark Heanley is on a mission this month to raise money for research into childhood cancer.

MARK Heanley is no stranger to a challenge.

The Scone resident has pledged to pedal 1000 kilometres this month as part of the Great Cycle Challenge, with a goal to raise $20,000 for research into childhood cancer.

And, he isn’t backing down yet having already traveled 334 kilometres in just nine days.

After producing a whopping $23,000 last year, Mark’s fundraising efforts currently have him sitting second in the country for the challenge after he was knocked back from first place last week.

He’s already halfway towards his goal, reaching over $10,000 in donations in one week.

For Mark, the reasoning behind getting on the bike every morning is simple.

“I have a personal connection because my goddaughter fought Leukemia when she was four and won,” he said.

“Just watching how they have to battle – that’s what gives me my motivation.”

The Great Cycle Challenge started just four years ago, and since then the event has grown to become one of the biggest in Australia.

This year they are hoping to raise $3 million for the Children’s Medical Research Institute and assist the 600 Australian children who are diagnosed with cancer each year.

“Now that my goddaughter has had a successful outcome I just want to keep doing what I can for charity,” Mr Heanley said.

“The objective is to raise awareness –  there are so many causes that you can support but i find it hard to find a better cause than helping kids fight cancer.”

Despite the obvious obstacles such as the weather and terrain, Mark admitted the biggest challenge has been the magpies.

“They’re just horrendous," he laughed. “But if anyone in the Scone community is up for the challenge and wants to join I would encourage them to get behind an amazing cause.”

To follow Mark’s journey, donate or to join the challenge yourself, visit https://greatcyclechallenge.com.au/Riders/MarkHeanly.