ALAN Bujdák completed his 35-day bicycle journey through nearly all parts of Slovakia in the Námestovo amphitheatre in the northwest part of the country after covering 1,500 kilometres to raise funds to help cancer patients while asking for help from government officials in more than thirty locales.
“Last year, the demanding treatment of a cancer patient close to me touched me deeply. I promised her all-round help in her fight against the illness and I gradually came to realise that there are more people in such a situation who need help. Finally, the idea came to me to organise a bicycle tour around Slovakia and to talk to responsible people and ask them to lend a helping hand,” Bujdák told the TASR newswire.
Bujdák, a 44-year-old former ice hockey player, started from Banská Bystrica on February 4, World Cancer Day, and made a half-way stop in Lučenec on February 21. He complained about pain in his back and sore muscles during the first part of the ride but then also suffered a bad fall on an icy road later. “I only hoped I had not broken any bones and fortunately I just was severely bruised. The next day I woke up with severe pain but immediately climbed on my bike and any idea of giving up was dismissed,” the dedicated rider said.
The cyclist explained that in addition to his desire to raise funds for cancer victims he wanted to raise awareness and interest in other ways that those in need could be helped. “I mostly met with positive responses from government officials: several towns promised free tickets to cultural and sports events and to their swimming pools [for cancer patients]. Businesses and entrepreneurs were willing to help, too,” Bujdák stated.