11-year-old fighter Elsa crossed the finish line with her dad
<!--@ParagraphImageLinkAlt-->

TR Press UK - 06-07-2019

11-year-old fighter Elsa crossed the finish line with her dad

As 11-year-old Elsa Andersson cycled in together with the other participants in Team Rynkeby, she became the youngest participant ever to cross the yellow finish line in Paris. Technically, she is underage to participate, but as she had been given leave from her cancer ward in Sweden to join her dad as he crossed the finish line, an exception was made.

As 11-year-old Elsa Andersson cycled in together with the other participants in Team Rynkeby, she became the youngest participant ever to cross the yellow finish line in Paris. Technically, she is underage to participate, but as she had been given leave from her cancer ward in Sweden to join her dad as he crossed the finish line, an exception was made.

Last year, Jonas Andersson cycled to Paris with the other cyclists in Team Rynkeby - God Morgon Kristianstad. This year, he also crossed the finish line. But this year became all the more special, as he was joined by his 11-year-old daughter Elsa. Technically, she is still too young to participate in the project, but a small exception was made for this guest of honor, who had been allowed to leave the children's cancer ward back in Sweden to do a lap around Prairie du Cercle Sud Park and cross the finish line with her father. On her very own Team Rynkeby bike.



“But I will have to be back at the ward on Tuesday,” says Elsa, who has just rolled into the park with a big smile on her face.

Last year, Elsa was also in Paris to cheer her father on, but the circumstances were completely different. Elsa had just been told that the brain tumour she had been diagnosed with as a 7-year-old had come back. Since then, she has undergone several tough treatments and there have been plenty of hospital stays, but now she has been given leave for a couple of days.




Great support in Paris
There are many people in the park who want to give Elsa a high five or a hug when they see her. Elsa's mother Cecilia and big brother Alfons are also in Paris to support their family members.

“I thought I would cycle faster, but I had trouble keeping my balance,” says Elsa, as she descibes what it was like crossing the finish line with all the other cyclists, and continues:

“I think I wouldn't mind cycling all the way to Paris when I am older, but I think I'll join the Service Team first, so I can see how far it is.”




The word cancer
Elvira, a teddy bear dressed in a dressing gown, has also crossed the finish line with Elsa. She received the teddy bear as a gift when she was first diagnosed. Elsa says she had suffered from a headache for a while, but they thought it was just a normal headache. But when they went to see the doctors at the hospital in Kristianstad, they were quickly sent off in an emergency ambulance to Lund. The diagnosis was cancer.

Elsa says she has always had a hard time identifying with the word cancer.
 

“I have found the word cancer very difficult. You have no idea if you are going to live or die, and all you can do is hope you survive. We had a neighbour who had cancer, but she died. I thought cancer always meant dying, but now I know it doesn't have to be that way,” says Elsa.




A future cancer researcher
And yes, it is true. Today, 85 percent of all children diagnosed with cancer survive, and that is completely down to the research being done on child cancers. A large majority of the child cancer research done in Sweden is funded by the Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund. Elsa is fully aware of that. She explains that she already knows what she wants to do when she grows up.

“I want to become a researcher, so there can be better medications for people diagnosed with cancer. My wish is for people to only have to use tablets to get better. But I think it will take quite a long time to get there. I would have preferred not to have needles or medications that make you feel bad. And I would have liked to have kept my hair. Losing my hair was very difficult. You feel completely different when you don't have hair or eyebrows, so thank god for good wigs,” says Elsa.

 

Her own collection
Elsa is fully aware that the hundreds of yellow-clad cyclists currently mingling around the park have contributed in raising money to the Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund. She also has her own collection, which has generated a total of 63,000 Swedish Crowns so far.


“And me and my best friend Hanna also have a collection,” she says. “We make beaded bracelets that we sell and donate to the Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund. It feels great to be able to help.”

Elsa also says that she is very proud of her father who cycled all the way from Sweden, and that she is impressed by all the participants who have made it all the way to Paris.


“I would like to say ‘well done’ to everyone here,” she says.



 

This text has been translated from Swedish into English by AdHoc Translations.

Skriv kommentar

 

Back

Snapshots from Tour de Paris 2019

Snapshots from Team Rynkeby's trip to Paris 2019 - new snapshots every day.

See videos

Become a sponsor

And help us to help children with critical illnesses and their families.

Read more

Critically ill children

Team Rynkeby raises money for children critically diseases in seven countries.

Read about our aims

Platinum Sponsors

Follow @TeamRynkeby on Instagram