Lymphoma Awareness Month

September is Lymphoma Awareness Month, a chance to raise awareness of Australia's most common blood cancer. September is a chance to promote symptom recognition for both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas to aid in early diagnosis and to raise much-needed funds for research.

Earlier this month I farewelled from Parliament House a group of cyclists who were embarking on the annual Parliament2Opera ride. The Parliament2Opera ride is a three-day, 300-kilometre ride from Parliament House to the Opera House, via Goulburn and Mittagong, to raise awareness of lymphoma. The ride began in 2011 when three friends decided to cycle from Sydney to Canberra, purely for the challenge. 

However, a couple of days before the ride one of the three, Canberran Jovan Pejic, was diagnosed with stage 3 follicular nonHodgkin lymphoma, aged just 24. At the time, like many Australians, Jovan and his family knew very little about lymphoma. His resilience and desire to increase awareness about this cancer meant that the plans for the bike ride continued but now with a mission to highlight this little-known cancer. Three years on, the ride is now an annual event with an ever-growing team of awe-inspiring and passionate participants. This year, at the end of the three day ride the cyclists were met with the spectacular sight of the opera house lit up in lime green, well and truly putting lymphoma in the limelight.

Congratulations to all involved, and thank you for your dedication to increasing awareness of lymphoma.

Download a copy of this speech.

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