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Survivor backs ride for research
The West Australian

Rosannagh Carslaw was 17 and halfway through her mock TEE exams in 2007 when she was forced to swap her study books for gruelling chemotherapy.

She was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin lymphoma, a disease that affects the immune system and one she knew little about. To survive, she would end up needing six rounds of chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy.

Now 22 and an occupational therapy graduate, she put her hand up to be an ambassador for tomorrow's Red Sky Ride to raise funds for SolarisCare, a health care group that offers free support to cancer patients and their main carers.

The aim is not to replace conventional cancer treatment but to give patients safe therapies such as meditation, massage and reflexology to help them through their treatment.

Therapies offered at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and regional centres in Bunbury and Albany are open to all cancer patients, while SolarisCare also operates at St John of God Hospital, Subiaco, for its patients.

"I made a good recovery but I know first-hand how stressful it can be and how you can just feel like someone with cancer instead of a whole person," Ms Carslaw said.

Twenty-seven cyclists will start the eight-day ride, taking them more than 1000km through Harvey, Dunsborough, Augusta, Bridgetown, Wagin and York before they return to Perth on March 3.

The aim is to raise $350,000. To donate, go to redskyride.com.au.