Going for a Sunday ride with a professional cyclist might be on a few people's bucket lists.
As it turns out, world-leading melanoma pathologist, co-medical director at the Melanoma Institute, and recently named 2024 NSW Australian of the Year, Professor Richard Scolyer AO, is no different.
Former professional road bicycle racer Richie Porte recently reached out to Professor Scolyer after hearing about his devastating yet inspiring battle.
In June, Professor Scolyer was diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma, an aggressive and often terminal brain cancer.
But Professor Scolyer is not giving up hope.
Along with his colleague, Melanoma Institute co-medical director Professor Georgina Long AO, Professor Scolyer is pioneering work on pre-surgery immunotherapy treatments for brain cancer.
Mr Porte said when he realised they had both grown up at Riverside, Launceston, he felt compelled to meet Professor Scolyer.
"I heard about Richard's story, and I was blown away," Mr Porte said.
"I think many people throw the word 'bravery' around, but when you see what he is doing, that's the epitome of bravery; there's no other word for it.
"And so after hearing his story, I followed him on Instagram, which I don't normally do, and the very next day, he actually commented on one of my posts."
Professor Scolyer said after some planning, the pair organised to meet for a ride, along with 30 other cyclists and Australian triathlete Jake Birtwhistle.
"These guys are incredible. I've been following them on Instagram for years and admired what they could do," he said.
"Something I've noticed about Tasmanians is that they're really friendly, and you can take them out of Tassie, and they're still just as friendly and willing to have a chat.
"I'm very proud of growing up here and being Tasmanian."
Professor Scolyer said he might struggle to keep up with the world-class athletes but looked forward to the ride.
"I've been getting a bit of my fitness back and enjoying life, trying to be involved in all different aspects of it," he said.
"And as far as my treatment goes, I've been very lucky.
"We've created some incredible scientific data, and I'm very proud of that - It's already changing the field.
"And hopefully, it'll give me a bit more of a fighting chance with this wretched, incurable cancer."