When Christian is talking about his upcoming bike adventure across Europe with bright eyes, smiling, you wouldn’t believe it has only been a couple of weeks since he last had his “head opened,” as he puts it. When he was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 24, it took him, his family and friends a while to learn how to deal with the disease. In order to make it easier for others and give them courage, Christian came up with the Tour for Life, that anyone can join. Before he’ll take off next weekend, he patiently answered our nosy questions.
Hey Christian, how are you?
I am doing great, thanks. Until Easter, I was undergoing chemo therapy and during that time, I wasn’t doing well at all. The happier I am now, that the weather is warmer again and I can go outside on bike rides and hikes.
What is your story?
It’s a pretty intense story, if I may say so. It all started at age 24, when I suddenly had an epileptic seizure and was rescued from the bottom of a swimming pool. A litter later I knew the diagnosis: brain cancer. This was in 2007 and I have had to deal with it since. I’ve had three surgeries, one radio therapy and three chemo therapies. The last surgery was especially hard to take, because I couldn’t walk for two weeks. This sickness has changed my life completely, but also gave me a second life, that I didn’t really ask for.
What is the Tour for Life? What do you want to achieve?
With the Tour for Life, I want to raise awareness for the situation of people who have to deal with cancer. Sadly, almost everyone knows somebody amongst their friends or family, who suffer from the disease. It is my goal to give them courage and a platform and to have a good time together, on the bike. I want to motivate others to re-discover their life, by joining me on the tour, even if it’s just for a small distance. At the same time, I am working closely with some charity foundations and we started a campaign to raise money for cancer research and counseling.
What motivated you to come up with the Tour for Life?
Work-out, nature, encounters and exploring the world. This is what cycling means to me. Cycling keeps me fit, it strengthens my immune system and also gives me a lot of mental confidence. I would like to pass this on to more people and encourage them to ride with me. I am also looking forward to see new countries and cultures as part of Tour for Life. Continue reading