Charlie Bellete from Preston Victoria, is thirteen years old and on a mission to turn a school project into a positive outcome for kids with cancer.
“Our class was tasked with a major project to do something we are really passionate about and then with the help of a mentor, learn as much as we can about it in 3-6 months,” said Charlie.
“I decided I wanted my project to involve cycling and then my mentor challenged me to consider how I could turn my passion for cycling into helping others,” he said.
This got Charlie thinking about what he, his family and community had experienced recently. Charlie’s grandfather had melanoma and recently passed away and a classmate has been diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma – a type of childhood cancer that occurs in the soft tissues of the body.
“We need to figure cancer out, that’s why research is important. I want to do all that I can to help kids with cancer. If we can stop kids getting cancer then they can go on and do incredible things too,” said Charlie.
Charlie’s project has developed into a 180 kilometre cycle from Beechworth crossing the Murray River in Victoria to New South Wales returning to Beechworth via Wangaratta. Charlie has recruited a group of friends to ride alongside him and is fundraising for The Kids’ Cancer Project.
“I thought it would be cool to say we cycled to New South Wales,” joked Charlie.
“We are getting such a buzz from fundraising too, egging each other on and trying to topple one another off the leader board. And it’s nice to know we’re doing something good while having fun,” the teenager said.
Owen Finegan, Chief Executive of the national charity is in awe of Charlie’s project.
“Seeing kids helping other kids is so inspiring," said Owen. "Hopefully with all the training they’re doing Charlie nails this school project and lands top grades. He gets top marks from us.”
Charlie and his friends start their school cycle project on 30 April 2016.
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