Riding For Ovarian Cancer Research
Sheree Osborne – Profile
The appeal of this fundraiser, for me, is multifactorial. Personally – I feel the need to support this cause, as my Aunty Claire (Reaburn) was diagnosed with Juvenile Granulosa Cell Tumour, a rare form of ovarian cancer. I have the utmost respect for my Uncle Peter (Claire’s husband of 34 years) in organising this fundraiser to make a very real, and very positive change, for Claire. And for every other female who will be diagnosed with ovarian cancers over the coming years.
Career-wise, I work at the University of Queensland in the School of Biological Sciences. It was also at the University of Queensland that I completed my undergraduate science degree, in the field of molecular biology and microbiology – with a focus on immune responses and the marvellous field of genetics. The first several years of my career were working in research labs, looking at bacterial-viral-host disease interactions, and within a genetics/toxicology lab. My current role is in supporting scientific teaching and research that occurs in the Biological Sciences, through the behind-the-scenes preparation for practical classes and field trips, for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Having worked in research, I strongly believe that more funding is required for scientific research, as that is where large benefits are made. Given that there is currently no early screening option for ovarian cancer, nor is there research to guide treatment options – this is clearly an area of medical science that needs more support. To be able to change this situation for the better – and raise funds to enable vital (and currently very lacking!!) research in rare ovarian cancers, seems like a ‘no-brainer’.
Life is made up of so many chance events. Some positive, some devastating. For me, becoming involved in cycling, and then triathlons, is one of the best positive chance events in my life thus far. I happened to be placed in a shared office, with a colleague, who happened to be a mad-keen cyclist. It wasn’t long before he helped me find an affordable second hand-road bike, checked it was in good working order, and that was how I came to own “Miss Madone” (see picture) and became bitten by the cycling bug! That was 5 years ago now, and in that time, I have competed in several triathlons, ridden gran fondos ( = bike rides over 120 km), and somehow even managed to qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, held in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2021! (Although I did not attend due to the COVID travel restrictions). I am still trying to determine what is possible for me in the world of fitness. And while cycling from Canberra to Melbourne may be a bit intimidating for me – it is nothing when compared to the challenge of living with, and combating, a form of cancer that has received so little attention and research. So please, do what you can to help us raise funds to enable the research, and result in early detection and better outcomes for all the girls and women who have, or will one day have, this disease.