“Our ride against cancer”

The cycling group ‘The Climbing Régâhs’ from The Hague organized a cycle tour in Pijnacker to raise money for the Juliana Children Hospital in The Hague, one of the largest pediatric hospitals in The Netherlands. This year was supposed to be the 11th time that the team would ride the Alpe d’Huzes to raise money. Due to the Coronavirus, this event, along with other planned events have been canceled or rescheduled. This Sunday was the first event since the lockdown in March, raising €2.480,31 for children with cancer.

Alpe d’Huzes is a Dutch initiative to raise money for the Dutch Cancer Society. It’s an event where participants will bike, hike, or run the Alpe d’Huzes in France six times in a row. Since its creation 12 years ago, Alpe d’Huzes has raised over 151 million euros.

Martin Groen, the secretary and member of ‘The Climbing Régâhs’, is glad they finally have started with their events again. “It was unfortunate that we could not ride the tour in France. The weekend of the Alpe d’Huzes was supposed to be ‘the’ highlight of the year,” says Martin. “We would have started in Italy, ride to France and end on top of the Alpe d’Huzes. I am cheerful that we can start organizing events and raise money again!”

What began as a group of friends, ended up in a cycling team and organization calling themselves ‘The Climbing Règâhs’. The team of volunteers organizes annual charity and sporting events to raise money for different charities.

Every year the team picks a different charity they support apart from the Alpe d’Huzes. This year it is the Juliana Children’s hospital in The Hague. The biggest non-academic children’s hospital in the Netherlands. They specialize in cancer research and improving the quality of life for children with cancer. Their goal is to create a world where a sick child, can still be a child, experiencing less pain, anxiety, and recover faster.

Research of the CBS shows that cancer is still the leading death cause among children. Globally there are more than 300.000 children aged from 0 to 19 years old who are diagnosed with cancer each year. However, the number of children dying from cancer in The Netherlands has decreased. From more than 200 children in the early 1970s to 61 in 2016.

“100 percent of the money we raise, goes to charity,” said Martin, explaining that research is the best defense against cancer. “In our team, we have people who died from cancer, who have cancer and, luckily, also people who are cured of cancer,” he adds. “We know that it´s possible, that people with this illness can heal. That is our motivation and drive.”

The Juliana Children Hospital says they are really grateful for the donations. “With the raised money we can do further research and keep creating child-friendly, distracting environments that help reduces stress and fear of the children.”

Last year The Climbing Régâhs almost raised €85.000 for charity. “This year we hoped that we could raise around €100.000,” Even though this amount will not be reached this year due to the circumstances, the team will continue organizing events and raise as much money as possible. “Every little bit helps in our fight and ride against cancer!”

Written by Maxime Booi