“I cannot remove cancer, but I can strive towards ensuring that cancer research and the development of new treatments receives more funding and that the children in the affected families receive the support they need”, says Heidi.
Heidi wanted to do her part and find a way to make the world a better place. It was important for her to find a practical way of helping, one where all of the collected money went straight to the intended purpose. “Cancer affects many families, mine included, unfortunately. I have also always enjoyed being active. These are some of the key reasons why Team Rynkeby – God Morgon felt like such a suitable choice for me”, Heidi says.
What is it all about?
Team Rynkeby – God Morgon was started as a Danish charity project in 2002. It involves teams of cyclists that come together for one year. Each participating team organises events, collects funds, acquires sponsors, visits children’s cancer wards and cooperates with local cancer organisations.
Finland has been a part of the project since 2013. The collected funds are donated to children’s cancer research, the development of new treatments and providing psychosocial support to children and youths with cancer and their families. In 2018, Finnish teams donated over 1.1 million euros. In total, the Rynkeby project collected and donated a sum of 10.6 million euros.
Yellowshirts in Paris
Each summer, the teams start from their home cities and cycle to Paris in just over a week to bring more attention to the project. “It is only when you get to France that you realize how big a thing it is that 2100 cyclists come together and meet at Place de la Fontaine-aux-Lions”, Heidi recalls.
Everyone can apply to join. Those chosen for the team not only commit to charity activities, but also to training together. “For a working person with limited time on their hands, this provides the opportunity to combine everyday exercise with a good cause”, says Heidi. The participants pay for everything themselves, including travel expenses, bikes and cycling attire.
Shared objective brings people together
The teams bring people together from all kinds of backgrounds, from students to senior citizens. Everyone has the same desire to do good and work towards a shared goal. “If it hasn’t already happened before then, the trip to Paris is sure to bond the team together”, says Heidi with two trips under her belt. Teamwork is also great for learning interaction skills and how to motivate and lead people.
The cycling routes run on small roads and take the teams through idyllic old towns and cities. In some towns Rynkeby cyclists are a familiar and yearly sight and they are given a warm welcome – not least because of the worthy cause.
“Even though there have been some tough situations on the road, you also come to understand how fortunate you are. Especially when you still remember what you have seen and experienced during the visits to the cancer wards”, Heidi says.
Text: TEK Career Services
Photo: Getty Images
Sources: Interview with Heidi and www.team-rynkeby.fi