TR Press UK - 09-07-2016

"My son must know that we're doing something for the other children"

For Rene Ritter Schmidt, Team Rynkeby's Tour de Paris is about giving something back to the Children's Cancer Foundation.

Prologue, City Hall Square, Copenhagen: Charity cycling team Team Rynkeby is now beginning its annual cycling tour to Paris to benefit children with cancer.

This year's cycling team numbers no fewer than 1,500 riders and 400 helpers in 38 local teams from five countries, and the tour starts across 35 cities on four different days.

Together with 200 other yellow-clad Team Rynkeby riders from Team Rynkeby Copenhagen, Vordingborg, North Zealand and Oresund, Rene Ritter Schmidt started the 1,300 km-plus cycling tour at City Hall Square in Copenhagen yesterday.

And for the 43-year-old Team Rynkeby first-timer, it was more than just opening night nerves that coursed through his body just before the tour began.

In August 2011, his then 11-year-old son Simon was diagnosed with leukaemia, and it took two-and-a-half years of treatment for the doctors at Copenhagen's Rigshospital to declare him well again. For Rene Ritter Schmidt, Team Rynkeby's Tour de Paris is primarily about giving something back to the Children's Cancer Foundation.

"This is more than just a cycling tour. "Part of it is the conclusion to 10 months of collection work for the Children's Cancer Foundation. "And part of it is also the family's way of thanking the Children's Cancer Foundation for all that they have done for Simon while he was ill – and what they have continued to do for him now that he is better and living a normal young boy's life," says Rene Ritter Schmidt.

Pampering grant
Like all other children who have been diagnosed with cancer, Simon was awarded a 'pampering grant' of DKK 5,000 by the Children's Cancer Foundation shortly after his diagnosis. The grant was spent to buy a laptop computer for Simon.

"The laptop meant that while Simon was in hospital, and when he felt well enough, he could log into Skype and chat with his classmates, and keep up with his school work. "It helped him not to feel so lonely. Now that he's well, he still uses the Children's Cancer Foundation's youth network, where he can meet with other kids who have been through the same thing," says Rene Ritter Schmidt.

Light at the end of the tunnel
Although Simon is well now, he still suffers from some of the side effects of the treatment he received while he was ill.

"The chemo more or less put a brake on his development, which means that he is still undergoing growth treatment in order for his body to continue developing. "But if the price of surviving cancer means that Simon is a little shorter than other boys his age, then we'll take it", smiles Rene Ritter Schmidt.

"Simon made it through – and so did our family. "There's a light at the end of the tunnel, and that's what we want to tell other families in the same situation. "And my son also needs to know that Team Rynkeby is doing something for other kids, too," says Rene Ritter Schmidt.

Father and son were able to start the Tour de Paris side by side. Simon and a few other kids from the Children's Cancer Unit rode the first kilometres together with Team Rynkeby to Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen.

Follow Team Rynkeby's Tour De Paris on www.team-rynkeby.com/live.


The news you have just read was translated by Amesto Translations A/S.

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