By LUKE VOOGT
OCEAN Grove’s Konrad Slavinskis was one of seven friends from Geelong who raised $11,500 to fight cancer, in the Paddle Across the Bay this month.
Konrad was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer a year and half ago and lost his dad to a similar cancer when he was young.
“I was determined not to become another victim,” Konrad told the Voice last week.
“I totally changed my diet and lifestyle to help give me the best odds in beating this thing.”
Konrad, who’s been cancer free for one year, joined more than 120 stand-up paddlers who paddled 10km from Port Melbourne to Brighton on 6 February.
“The paddle was perfect timing, as it marked the day I was discharged from St Vincent’s hospital in Melbourne,” he said.
Konrad said his friends, family and Ocean Grove community played a major role supporting him through his treatment.
“(The community) is pretty amazing and we feel very lucky to be part of it,” he said.
One of those friends was Barwon Heads resident Aaron Smith, who was later diagnosed with cancer himself.
“When he was diagnosed we couldn’t believe how cruel life could be,” Konrad said.
“Our attention turned to him and his family and supporting them through their treatment.”
While Aaron was not fit to paddle in the event, doctors declared him cancer-free a few weeks ago.
“I’m sure next year he will be fighting fit and it will be his turn,” Konrad said.
“I might even make it twice as hard and jump on his board for a ride.”
Konrad said paddling for the Cancer Council was his way of giving back.
It was his was of thanking the doctors, nurses, family and friends, who helped in him “in a bid to help stamp out cancer for good”.
Konrad’s donation page will be open until 29 February. To donate visit https://paddleacrossthebay.everydayhero.com/au/paddle-on