Peak fitness for brain cancer

11 20NEWS

Ivan Dzeba is getting in peak condition. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

BENNY’S CAFE owner Ivan Dzeba says he’s skied down a mountain but never climbed one.

He’s hoping to change that in July when he tackles Gran Paradiso, the highest peak in the Italian Alps to raise money for research into brain cancer.

Mr Dzeba decided to join the Chamonix Challenge after meeting Telethon Adventurers founder Rick Parish, whose son Elliot died of brain cancer in February 2011.

“Last year when we did the coffee festival we wanted to raise money for charity so we decided to give the money to the Telethon Adventurers,” Mr Dzeba says.

“I met Rick and he told me what he’d done and the story about his son Elliot. I thought his story was so sad, but at the same time it’s really inspiring what he does.

“And one of my friends has a daughter who’s got a brain tumour. I just never knew how many children were getting brain cancer.

“Rick has organised the first ever symposium on brain research and got doctors from around the world, which you would think would be a common sense thing to do, because children are dying. So people are starting to realise how big children’s brain cancer is.”

The 31-year-old says he’s been busting his guts to get fit so he can reach the top of the 4000m mountain.

“I’ve been going to Jacobs Ladder and running up and down with 25 kilos on my back,” he says. “And I’ve been going to the gym and every day I run 6km.

Mr Dzeba says every adventure must raise $10,000, which goes towards cancer research. He is confident of reaching the peak.

“Yeah, I will make it,” he says. “I want to get to the top. I can’t see anything stopping me.”

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