On Thursday, June 1st, Dennis van der Plas will take on a grueling challenge. On this day, this buyer of plants will cycle up the Alpe d’Huez six times to raise money to support cancer research. Dennis hopes that with the money he raises, drugs can be developed with less severe side effects. “My goal is for people with cancer to experience fewer unpleasant side effects from treatments in both the short and long term,” said Dennis.
Many of the flowers supplied by Van der Plas are used for festive occasions. Think for example of wedding flowers, a houseplant as a gift for a housewarming, and bouquets for Mother’s Day. However, despite these beautiful moments, life also has its adversities. This is something Dennis can relate to: “When our son was very little, he was diagnosed with leukemia twice. That turned both his and our lives completely upside down.”
Cycling for reduced side effects
“Fortunately, my son was able to survive, all be it with a lot of trial and error,” Dennis continued. “But the medications he received had nasty side effects. It has been ten years since his treatment was completed, but he is still experiencing the effects of the intense cancer medication. By raising money with Alpe d’HuZes, I hope that drugs can be developed without all those nasty side effects. The disease is tough enough already even without these intense side effects.”
Support from colleagues
Dennis is experiencing a lot of support from his colleagues in his mission to raise money for cancer drug research. “The reactions have all been very positive. In the beginning, people did jokingly ask if I was all right when I announced that I was going up the mountain six times. But everyone was very enthusiastic and many colleagues donated. Additionally, the Floral Trade Group Foundation, friends, family members, and growers are also sponsoring my participation in the Alpe d’HuZes. It gives me a very good feeling to see that everyone is so involved.”
Currently, Dennis is training hard for the Alpe d’HuZes. “I am cycling every week with other participants with whom I form a group to take part in the event. During the week I will cycle 60 kilometers on two separate days and on the weekend we will cycle a combined total of 120 kilometers. The preparation is very important because it will be a tough ride. We will be cycling 6000 altimeters and it will also be an emotional rollercoaster. In that sense, climbing the Alpe d’Huez is also somewhat symbolic of the disease: it too is an ordeal that is by no means easy and it involves going through deep valleys at times.”
Want to give Dennis a proverbial nudge in support of his challenge to conquer the Alpe d’Huez six times? Then please donate now on his personal page. This way you can support Dennis’ quest for cancer drugs with fewer side effects. On behalf of Dennis, many thanks for your contribution!
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