Interview: Reece Wallace on How He's Fighting to #fcancerup

Oct 7, 2018
by Pinkbike Staff  

Last year Pinkbike readers raised over $80,000 USD in the quest to FCANCERUP, and this year we want to break that record. To help encourage more people to donate this year, and to give a more personal touch to the campaign, we wanted to share some other stories from mountain bikers about how cancer has affected them. We reached out to Reece Wallace, whose Huck Cancer fundraiser we shared in April, to find out how cancer has affected his daily life.

How has cancer affected you, your family and friends?

Currently, my mom is fighting choroidal uveal malignant melanoma, a rare form of cancer which affects about one in one in a million and has a mortality rate of 80% within five years. Over the past six years, she’s undergone countless surgeries, radiation therapy, and been given almost every pharmaceutical drug imaginable. She has lost all her sight in her right eye and continues to struggle with balancing her life and treatments. Unfortunately, the radiation has taken its toll on her eye and she's having it removed in the coming weeks. Because of this, she’s had to step down from her job and put all her efforts into recovery. For me, it’s meant last minute 12-hour drives to where my mom lives for emergency surgeries. My dad also won his fight with oesophageal cancer when I was a kid, so we’re pretty over it!

Why is fundraising for cancer research or cancer support important?

Fundraising is important to me because cancer will affect all of us at one point. I started my Huck Cancer campaign earlier this year to not only raise funds for cancer research and patient care, but to get the word out there that it’s still a terrible disease—we can’t forget this. Whether it's yourself, or a loved one, cancer affects nearly everyone. Simply having the ability to fundraise is why I choose to. Plus, maybe someone fighting will be inspired by your efforts and it could give them the extra push they need.

You have said positivity is important. How do you keep a positive mindset and why is that important?

Positive thinking has been my go-to throughout the entire process. Though my mom is way tougher than I’ll ever be, supporting her with positive thoughts and taking it day by day has been important. Focusing solely on what is in front of us, and not dwelling on ‘what ifs’. The fact she, like other cancer survivors, can keep a positive attitude is inspiring for their support groups to do the same.

Positivity also helps put things in perspective. Although super cliché, it actually inspires me to live each day fuller—on and off the bike. Cherish the good times, loved ones, send it, and don’t waste time or energy on bullsh*t or people who don’t make you happy.

Thank you for sharing your story with us Reece and we wish you and your loved ones all the best.



  • 22 1
 My wife’s mom, her dad, her aunt, her dad’s brother, and others - all lost to cancer. She herself just recently had surgery to statically abate it in the future. We all know someone that’s been affected by cancer. Anytime I see someone using whatever means they have to keep focus and funding on the disease I’m inspired.
  • 27 7
 Yes we all did lose someone to cancer and most of us did something to help cancer research, to fund someone’s treatment. Like I did numerous times for cancer funds for children. But that is a fkng easy part. Honestly, spending 5-10$ a month for someone on regular income is easy, no matter how emotional it feels. As easy as getting a Netflix account. Sometimes no matter what you do and how you live your life it comes to you, Jared Graves is a great example but some people are living like you wonder how the fk they didn’t get it yet. So the question is what can we do for people before they get it. My parents will highly likely get it sooner or later, talking to your close ones to change their diet, start exercising is much harder. Even harder to get them on a program. Also, whatever you do, b fore you start talking bullsht about melting glaciers and dying Polar Bears, if you really care about your children and grand children, minimize chances of you needing them to change your diapers or visit you in a hospital. Sorry to bcome fun Police today but stuff like snacks, bacon and beers just don’t help...

Just saying...
  • 3 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Just this......
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I had pancreatic cancer and needed to wear diapers for two years. I was 28 years old at the time. Sucks a lot. My son was two years old and my wife needed to change both of our diapers. Diet and exercise can save lives. But not many people notice that and are willing to change habits.
  • 4 1
 @steelpolish: hah mate I didn’t mean it that way. I am happy you are here to write it. Not many people are willing to change habits well, this is how we humans work. Patterns of behavior are patterns of behavior. In order to change them we need some for of a candy and it is still hard then. For everyone. Cheers!
  • 6 0
 Can I just say, if you're involved with someone with cancer, not to say that they are "fearless".. they are scared to the bone, and unsure of the unkown.
I must also add, that you must prepare yourself for the worst,as at any moment, this horrendous condition can strike you down.
Death is not spoken of, but it is huge shadow over us, and we must be strong... Life is wonderful,Life is so f*cking mean...
  • 5 0
 I'm a cancer researcher. I can tell you that every dollar of crowdfunded money from initiatives like Reece's makes a difference. The funding situation, in the USA at least, is cutthroat and intensely limiting (~1 in 10 federal grant applications get funded). Private support is invaluable.

I would encourage Reece to get in touch with a choroidal uveal malignant melanoma research lab. Directly funding the labs who do the work you are passionate about is how you make the biggest difference.

Work hard and play hard. We're all riding on borrowed time.
  • 5 0
 Thanks for the support and work you do. With my Huck Cancer fundraiser, 100% of the funds went to the Western Canada Ocular Oncology Foundation—a specific, ocular research lab and patient care centre.
  • 2 0
 I am happy to see this. I have been donating 40$ a month for the past 12 years for cancer research and after losing my father to non-hodgkins lymphoma last month at the young age of 54 I felt like I spent all that money for nothing. I was actually going to stop donating but you encouraged me to keep going. I donate through work but I will look into donating to fcancerup instead of the program I am donating to now. And Reece, stay strong in these rough times buddy. You have everyone's support!
  • 1 0
 Straight from the horse's mouth. This is great info to help people direct their contributions more effectively. Is there a resource/directory of some kind to help ID research labs associated with certain types of cancers?
  • 6 0
 Strength to your mom and awesome that your dad fought off oesophageal cancer. my brother did not survive that fight. Treatments were brutal.
  • 5 0
 Amen. I'm 2 weeks cancer free myself. 7 regular chemo rounds, 5 surgeries, and 2 stem cell transplants later still kicking around! Never stop fighting because the other option is so much worse.
  • 1 0
 Stay strong mate you've got this!
  • 3 0
 I lost my mother to cancer 30 years ago, still think of her most days, it gets easier but you never forget, hope you and your mum get through this safe Reece #huckcancer
  • 2 0
 I hope your family stays strong Reece, your mother sounds like a very tough lady. I hope her surgery goes well. The last paragraph says it all, cherish every day!
  • 2 1
 this sort of fight requires unique warrior skills. major respect to Reece and anyone who faces this battle.
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