Diagnosed with cancer at 12 years old, Warrick Hamilton knows what it's like to face the disease and is determined to give back to the charity that supported his childhood battle all those years ago.

The 28-year-old has signed up for the annual Rickshaw Run, a 3000km dash across India in a rickshaw (tuk tuk) fondly coined "easily the least sensible thing to do" by event organiser The Adventurists.

It's a challenge Mr Hamilton and his team, his girlfriend Francesca McAdam of Ashburton and friend Rachel Wallen of Nelson, will undertake this August to raise money for their chosen charity, Child Cancer Foundation.

Mr Hamilton said the charity was particularly close to him as he was diagnosed with acute lympho graphic leukaemia at 12 years old.


Undergoing chemotherapy for 18 months, he spent time in Starship Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House; missing much of his first year at Hastings Boys' High School.

"As a family having a child with cancer is obviously a hard time. The Child Cancer Foundation helped our family a lot and it's really nice to give back," he said.

With a fundraising goal of $2000, Mr Hamilton said their goal was already close to being surpassed but he wanted to continue pushing for the charity.

"We had to raise $1000 for Cool Earth but the rest is all for Child Cancer so that's the big push."

Provided with a rickshaw at the start of August in Kochi (southern India), the team must make their way to Jasalmer in two weeks with no set route and no assistance if anything were to go wrong.

However the team, named "Dude, Where's my Cow?" have worked ahead to set themselves up for a bit of luck by deciding their rickshaw should be painted like a black and white Friesian cow.

He thought the theme would represent New Zealand and help them gain some respect on the chaotic roads as cows were deemed sacred in India.

Mr Hamilton, who has travelled the globe as an exploration geologist, said the weeks and months he spent cycling across countries and continents had prepared him for August's trip.

"The others have done a fair bit of travelling but not in the same style. I know how to look after myself and what to do when things go wrong."

Mr Hamilton said he was looking forward to experiencing the culture of India, particularly in the provincial communities the team would be travelling through.

"With all my travelling I try to get well off the beaten path and engage with back country people, that's where the adventure is,

"I like the feeling of not knowing what's around the corner."

Those wishing to donate can visit https://centralevents.everydayhero.com/nz/dude-where's-my-cow.