High speed cancer cause

By Sophie Ryan

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FORTUNATE: Adam Manderson is preparing for an adventure jet ski challenge in the South Island raising awareness and funds for the Melanoma Foundation. PHOTOS/ JOHN STONE
FORTUNATE: Adam Manderson is preparing for an adventure jet ski challenge in the South Island raising awareness and funds for the Melanoma Foundation. PHOTOS/ JOHN STONE

Since experiencing a close call with melanoma, Whangarei's Adam Manderson has made it his mission to change the "it won't happen to me" attitude in New Zealand.

He has set his sights on an adventure jet ski event that covers the West Coast of the South Island to help him carry his message.

The seriousness of melanoma is graded on a scale from one to five - five being a prognosis of eventual death.

Mr Manderson's melanoma was level four in 2010.

His wife is a nurse and encouraged him to get a mole looked at, which was caught in time then surgically removed to prevent the spread of the melanoma.

"My prognosis is good although I will have to be medically checked every six months for the rest of my life as the chance of recurrence is, unfortunately, very high," he said.

That was in 2010. Now Mr Manderson is heading to an adventure jet-ski event in the South Island.

The 2014 Yamaha Melanoma Foundation Ski-nZ raises money and awareness for the Melanoma Foundation and both are this year focused on the number 90.

About 90 per cent of deaths from melanoma are preventable.

The latest data is from 2008, when 61 men and 36 women in Northland were diagnosed with melanoma.

Mr Manderson is aiming to raise $5000 to support people with a prognosis less fortunate than his.

"The money goes to help people who have a poor prognosis. It is to help them get the treatment and support they need in what will be a far bigger challenge than the one I faced."

Mr Manderson has lost 10kg in preparation and wants lose another 10kg-15kg before the event.

His goal is to be the top fundraiser out of all the participants in the event.

"Most of my fundraising so far has been from customers [at Toll New Zealand] and friends," he said.

Recently, he also took part in a spur-of-the-moment amateur boxing match, getting up at a professional event and asking for gold coin donations with the promise of one round in the ring with anyone who was up for it.

He raised $700 for a few minutes in the ring.

He will be riding a jet ski he is borrowing from a mate, and isn't feeling too nervous about the adventure.

The ride covers over 600km of mostly open water from Whanganui Inlet in the South Island to Wellington over six days, with one rest day.

Riders will leave Whanganui Inlet on March 10 and ride to Takaka, Takaka to Nelson, Nelson to Picton then cross the Cook Strait and finish in Wellington on March 15.

To support Mr Manderson on his ride: http://www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/AdamManderson

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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