Dubai resident to cycle from Saudi to UAE to break world record, raise Dh1 million for cancer treatment

The Australian will be attempting to beat the current mark which stands at 1 day, 17 hours and 47 minutes

by

Angel Tesorero

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Wed 1 Nov 2023, 7:35 PM

Last updated: Wed 15 Nov 2023, 4:24 PM

A Dubai resident is making final preparations before embarking on a gruelling 600km journey from Saudi Arabia to the UAE to establish a new Guinness World Record for cycling and raise Dh1 million funds for cancer treatment.

It will be the first time that Australian expat Jimmy Wright, 39, will be making an attempt to beat the current world record, which stands at 1 day, 17 hours and 47 minutes, but he is more than ready to finish the challenge, he said.

“More than attempting to break a Guinness World Record for cycling from KSA to Ras Al Khaimah, my primary objective is to raise both awareness and crucial funds to support the treatment of children who are battling cancer,” Jimmy told Khaleej Times, adding: “This endeavour represents an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the lives of the young patients, and I am deeply committed to this noble cause through Al Jalila Foundation.”

Jimmy said all funds that will be raised will go to Dubai-based Al Jalila Foundation with a particular focus on assisting children battling terminal or life-threatening cancer, a charity chosen following his personal journey when his wife bravely faced cancer.

Jimmy’s wife, Abbie, was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, and only very recently, she was declared cancer-free. “This triumphant milestone in her battle against cancer serves as a powerful reminder of our fundraising efforts,” he said.

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Moment of epiphany

It was during Abbie’s battle against cancer that Jimmy had an epiphany of sorts. He and his wife were trying to find a way to gently but effectively explain to their three children — Macey, Rafferty and Lennox – what their mother was going through. They understood that “something bad was going to happen to mom but they also knew that mom would fight and beat it (cancer),” Jimmy shared.

Abbie did emerge triumphant against the Big C but there was a lingering thought that she told Jimmy that perturbed him.

“The only thing that could have been worse (aside from me getting cancer) would be if one of our children was unlucky enough to have contracted the disease,” Abbie told Jimmy, who began to think of parents whose kids were battling cancer.

Jimmy, whose entire family moved to Dubai over a year ago, immediately decided to do something and he came up with the fund-raising project.

Extraordinary challenge

“To prepare for this extraordinary challenge,” Jimmy shared: “I undertook a rigorous three-month training programme. This training regimen incorporated a carefully designed mix of long, steady rides and high-intensity sessions. This approach was crucial to enhancing my physical fitness and endurance, equipping me for the demands of this record-breaking journey.”

He continued: “My game plan to beat the current record is founded on my unwavering focus. By centering my attention on the children battling cancer and the urgent need for their treatment, I intend to draw strength and inspiration that will drive me to surpass the current record.”

“I aspire to collect Dh1 million, which will play a pivotal role in extending the treatment for approximately 20 children suffering from cancer. It is essential to emphasise that every penny we raise will be directed exclusively towards the extension of treatment, ensuring that these children receive the care they need,” he added.

Jimmy noted: “We have had some outstanding support from many organisations and institutions, including my kids school Brighton College Dubai that conducted an outstanding fundraising event in support for my project. The students conducted a “run for a reason” event that raised over Dh19,000.”

Ready to go

Jimmy will embark on the record-breaking journey next week. Before leaving for KSA, he said: “During the most challenging moments of this journey, I will draw upon a profound personal inspiration. My wife courageously battled cancer – her unwavering strength, as well as the well-being of my children, will provide a powerful mental and emotional foundation to keep me pedaling forward.”

“The children for whom I am raising funds will also be a constant source of motivation, reminding me of the critical importance of this mission,” he added.

“I am resolute in my determination to attain my goal and I will devote my full effort to it. While unforeseen challenges may arise, my commitment remains unwavering, and I will persevere to the best of my ability.”

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