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Sienna with her bike

News & media

Dare to Dream Scholarship will help Sienna lead the pack

“The resilience Sienna showed during her cancer treatment was second to none. She is very driven by the challenge of the Great Victorian Bike Ride and focused on achieving her goal of completing the course.”

Sienna Cox isn’t letting cancer hold her back; the 13-year-old hopes to take part in the 532 km Great Victorian Bike Ride. She is one of eight inspiring young Australians to be awarded a Redkite and Coles Dare to Dream Scholarship.

Diagnosed at two years old with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer that forms in soft tissue, Sienna faced years of gruelling treatment. Today, she is determined to participate in the week-long bike ride, cycling 80km a day with a group of students from her school, Stawell Secondary College.

The Redkite and Coles Dare to Dream Scholarship was established to inspire young people whose physical or mental health has been affected by cancer, to achieve their goals and ambitions. This scholarship, funded by Coles, helps young people build their future and can be put towards education or life goals.

When her cancer was first diagnosed, Sienna had surgery and six months of intensive chemotherapy. She then relapsed when she was four which led to more surgery, 12 months of chemotherapy and 23 doses of radiation.

“Being in hospital made it hard for me to do activities that I loved because of the treatment. I was unable to participate in swimming lessons due to the risk of infection. I loved swimming in the water. I was having treatment almost every week which meant we had to travel three hours each way to the Royal Children’s Hospital.

“After everything that has happened to me with my cancer, my goal is to participate in the Great Victorian Bike Ride with a group of friends from my school. I believe it will help me build resilience and confidence and I will get a huge sense of achievement from completing it,” she said.

Sienna’s stepdad Karl Hendy said Sienna has been training hard to build up her strength for the week-long bike ride.

“The resilience Sienna showed during her cancer treatment was second to none. She is very driven by the challenge of the Great Victorian Bike Ride and focused on achieving her goal of completing the course. We all see it as a huge achievement in her growth as a young teenager,” he said.

Since 2013, Redkite and Coles have awarded more than $650,000 in Dare to Dream Scholarships to support young Australians whose aspirations and goals have been impacted by their cancer diagnosis.

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