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Tour De Libsta - Ride for Libby

Team Total Total Raised

$15,444 of AUD $10,000 team's target.

Raised by 0 people in days for Melanoma Institute Australia

Biggest Supporters

AUD $1000.00

Megan Snyder

AUD $750.00


Tour De Libsta - Ride for Libby


My mum, Libby Widdup passed away in March, 2017 from ocular (uveal) melanoma.  

Mum often said she had never heard of ocular melanoma prior to her diagnosis and that there was little awareness and monies allocated to research on this rare form of cancer. Mum’s left eye was surgically removed in 2014, before discovery that the melanoma had metastasised to her liver in March 2015 and her prognosis was terminal, (6 – 12 months without treatment or up to 2 years with treatment). Mum kept her cancer battle private and to many friends and the wider community, the news of her passing came as a great shock. Despite keeping her battle with cancer very private, Mum also wanted people to know about ocular melanoma and for others diagnosed with the disease, to have more treatment and trial options available to find a cure. Mum was unfortunately a cancer survivor, having an unrelated diagnosis of breast cancer in 1997 with a recurrence of the disease in 2010. Both times she received a cure and was in remission.

Mum’s treatment involved monthly chemotherapy at North Shore Private Hospital, Sydney. After 19 sessions of chemotherapy, doctors told her the metastasises had ‘outsmarted’ the chemotherapy and this was no longer a viable treatment option. Mum then bravely agreed to take part in a clinical trial of a novel treatment at Westmead Hospital, under Dr Matteo Carlino, medical oncologist at Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA). Mum had said, that even if the trial didn’t work for her, she hoped it brought someone else a longer prognosis or a cure. At the end of January 2017, after two months of daily trial tablets, which caused severe nausea and fortnightly testing, we were informed that the tumours had grown in the size and prevalence and that the trial would be stopped, rendering need for a referral to palliative care. This was one of the hardest days of the journey. Mum had always fought. She always had done everything and anything she could to better her health over the years and continued to never give up. I will never forget standing outside Westmead Hospital, crying together and listening to her say that she didn’t want to have to leave us and that she didn’t want to go and that she had so much more life left in her.

“Uveal melanoma represents ~85% of all ocular melanomas and up to 50% of patients develop metastatic disease. Metastases are most frequently localised to the liver and, as few patients are candidates for potentially curative surgery, this is associated with a poor prognosis. Uveal Melanoma is diagnosed in approximately 2,000-2,500 adults annually in the United States. In both the U.S. and Europe, this equates to about 5 - 7.5 cases per million people per year.”

Mum received great care under the world leading team of specialists at the Melanoma Institute Australia, including Associate Professor Alex Guminski. We have full confidence and comfort in knowing that by the expertise’s and prior research, prolonged Mum’s life to allow us to share quality time together.

In 2010, Mum completed a 5-day charity bike ride we participated in as a family, a return trip from York - Amsterdam, covering approximately 400km over 4 days of cycling, raising money for Jessie's Fund - a music therapy charity for children. This was a memorable trip in itself for a variety of reasons.

Mum had been training for this ride for a few months before being diagnosed with a reoccurrence of breast cancer (after 14 years in remission) in the April of 2010, underwent 6 weeks of radiation, which she managed to squeeze into 5 weeks, by driving 3 hour return trip, 5 days per week to the Central Coast and undergoing double radiation on Wednesdays, to enable her to finish her course of treatment and be able to depart Australia in time for the ride. This was an amazing feat in itself and one she remained a secret to many, that her breast cancer had returned. We enjoyed several weeks holiday in Europe, some of which Mum was sick as the side effects of radiation kicked in. Nevertheless, in true ‘Libsta’ style, she completed the ride from start to finish.

Mum had enjoyed the challenge, exercise and freedom that cycling provided and had decided she wanted to the Vienna - Budapest cycle trip along the Danube River, which she had planned to one day complete. Despite her terminal diagnosis in 2015, she remained determine to complete this ride. She had said to me in December 2016 that she was going to try and complete this in April/May 2017, unfortunately she passed away in the March.

My Dad Mark, brother Josh and myself decided that we wanted to honour Mum’s legacy and organise a ride for anyone able to join and to raise awareness and funds for ocular melanoma, to continue to research and support the Melanoma Institute Australia.

TOUR DE LIBSTA - 'Ride For Libby'

July 20 - 27th

Vienna - Budapest

270km cycle over 6 days

Here is an article about the Uveal Melanoma and the trial Mum participated in:

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Tour De Libsta - Ride for Libby

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    Melanoma Institute Australia

    Melanoma Institute Australia is dedicated to the goal of zero deaths from melanoma, a goal we believe we can reach this decade through innovative, world-class research, treatment, and education programs.

    For more info, visit our website.

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