In August of 2011 my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer In January 2012 I started with the planning of a cancer awareness drive to bring awareness to more people about cancer and came up with the pole2poleandback drive.
The idea started to get momentum when I spoke to a couple of friends that all know friends and family that survived, suffers or passed away because of cancer. They encouraged me to go ahead and do this because I feel so strongly about it.
The idea is to start at the South pole on the 1st of January 2014 at 6am South African time. then travel by snowmobile to the polar camp closest to the southern tip of South America. There we hope to exchange the snowmobiles for jet skis and accompanied by a boat, travel to the most southern port of South America.There we will change the mode of transport again to either 2 or three wheels.
We will then be driving up the East coast of South America visiting towns to spread the awareness of cancer by talks by the cancer survivors, fliers and other forms of media. Through central America and onto North America where we will criss cross the country to Canada where we will meet up with the jet skis again on to the North Pole.
From the North Pole, we will travel via Green land to the Scandinavian countries, Russia and onto Europe. In Europe we will be visiting many countries including the UK. Traveling further South towards Turkey. Then the big decision need to be taken. Dependant on the political situation in Africa, it will be decided to travel South through Africa if safe to do so, or travel East towards China and then South via the Indonesian Islands towards Australia and New Zealand. And then hopefully we will be able to end back at the South Pole on the 21st of December 2014.
The main drive is to bring awareness of cancer and the advantages of early detection and treatment of cancer. Secondly, is to set up support groups for the families that are left behind after the cancer patient dies. Thirdly, the drive intend to raise funds for Cansa and Hospice Palliative Care here in South Africa.
As all know the name Cansa, Cancer South Africa and the work that they do regarding the assistance that they give to cancer patients. A worthy cause. Fewer people know the work that Hospice Palliative Care does. Hospice give medical assistance terminally ill patients that can not afford lengthy stays in standard medical facilities.
The family support groups are currently few and far between, and we intend to establish a support group where ever we stop over to talk about cancer. These groups is for family support before and after the patient dies. The families suffer just as much as the patient, not physically, but mentally. Families that need to talk in groups about their experience and their heart ache and how they dealt with the cancer as well as the loss of a loved one. This will give the opportunity to talk and share the pain.
To date we managed to secure one sponsor for the drive as well as a couple of small donors but a lot more is needed and to be done. There is just over 544 days left before the planned departure date. I just hope that my father will see this drive happen, but he is starting to lose the battle a day at a time as he was diagnosed to late for the medical practitioners to do anything for him. I would like to dedicate this drive to my father, all the survivors, the sufferers and all those that lost the battle against cancer.