Kim is taking on Cancer Cruise to raise funds for cancer research
By Cancer Council NSW
Since 2009, Cancer Council NSW has proudly partnered with Shitbox Rally and Mystery Box Rally: the wild challenge sees daring teams journey across Australia in cars worth less than $1,000 each or at least over 25 years old. Each team makes their way through unchartered territory in the hope that their car will survive the trip.
Box Rallies’ latest event, Cancer Cruise, is a different kind of challenge – and it’s all about fundraising, family and fun. Participants fill the seats of their favourite vehicles and join other like-minded people for a great day out, driving through fabulous sights in their state.
To find out more about Cancer Cruise and what getting involved in Box Rallies looks like, we caught up with Kim Walker, a previous Shitbox Rally, Mystery Box Rally and Cancer Cruise participant.
So, Kim, you’ve been involved in a lot of different Box Rallies events over the years. How many have you been involved in?
I’ve been involved in three events: 2019 Mystery Box – Byron Bay via Nindigully Qld and Lightening Ridge & Return, 2021 Cancer Cruise, and 2021 Shitbox Rally – Alice Springs to the Gold Coast via the Gulf Country.
What is it that keeps you getting involved in these events?
I’m a keen supporter of Box Rallies and Cancer Cruise as in my view, it’s a better forum to raise awareness of the amazing research and progress in treating and fighting all forms of cancer. Since I’ve successfully completed Shitbox and Mystery Box Rally, I’ve learnt so much about cancer research and the impacts on people and families.
The rallies exposed me to the effort and patience you need to complete the more rigorous events and the different, more relaxed and fun Cancer Cruise. You meet so many great people and hear so many amazing stories of people fighting or who have fought cancer.
While the rallies are certainly no holiday, none of us ever complain. All the time, efforts and struggles we put in are nothing compared to what those fighting cancer go through. It gives you a real sense that you are truly helping to make a real difference.
You got involved in the first Cancer Cruise last year – why did you decide to register for the event?
I had completed the Mystery Box in 2019 and Cancer Cruise was also a shakedown for our 1990 Toyota Seca to prepare for the following Shitbox Rally in May. The other reason was because I wanted to do a rally with my wife and spend a day out and meet other great people – some new to rallies and some past Mystery or Shitbox participants.
We secured donations from a broad range of people and for many personal reasons – a majority in memory of a family member or for family and friends fighting cancer. Lots of people just want to help make a difference, so it’s a great event to get involved in.
What was your favourite thing about Cancer Cruise?
The best part is you can do this Cruise with your partner, family or friends. It’s a relaxed drive through some scenic roads on a mapped mystery course. There’s time to stop for a coffee and a chat with the participants, and it ends with a great lunch.
We often get approached by the public asking what we are doing and how we are helping Cancer Council. At one morning tea stop, a man asked me who we were and what this was all about as we had a very diverse group of cars, rare collector cars, daily drives, Box rally cars and my Mystery Box/Shitbox rally cars.
We started chatting about the cancer research we were supporting. The man got a bit emotional as he talked about his wife who is in the initial stages of fighting cancer. He said (very emotionally) that he just didn’t know where to go, who to talk to for help or what type of help is available. I left him in the very capable hands of one of the Cancer Council staff, who gave him a card with who to call and an overview of information on support services.
That link with a real person needing help, for me, made the whole Cancer Cruise worthwhile – I know we helped one family, and I’m sure there were more.
What does it mean to you that the money you raise goes towards life-saving research?
It really means everything to me as I feel far more involved and a part of the Rally family, all working together and encouraging each other for the greater good of fighting cancer while collecting substantial amounts of money to help cancer research and make a true difference. I have seen the promotions, statistics, and presentations from Cancer Council that just make it so motivating to be involved in and to raise more to fund cancer research.
What would you say to someone who might be hesitant about getting involved in Cancer Cruise this year?
Cancer Cruise is the best format to dip your toe into fundraising for cancer research. It’s a relaxed one-day drive with family and friends, and you get to meet many likeminded people and build friendships. You also get to meet some great representatives from Cancer Council that participate in the event.
Overall, everyone feels good that it only took a short period of time from their busy lives, but they actually did a good thing in helping current and future generations who are or will fight cancers. You can also talk to others that have done the Mystery Box and Shitbox to see if you are interested in going deeper in participating and supporting the cause.
To find out more about Cancer Cruise and fundraising to support vital cancer research, go to cancercruise.com.au.