A cyclist joining the next long-distance LifeCycle challenge is crowdfunding on local platform Zaar, with all donations going towards kidney research – and the campaign has already raised more than half its funding goal.

As part of the Lifecycle Foundation’s annual fundraising challenge, Steve Cassar will join 17 other cyclists and support crew to cycle the near 2000km route from Buenos Aires in Argentina to Santiago de Chile in just 10 days, to raise money to support renal patients in Malta. 

While the challenge is LifeCycle’s 22nd, it marks the Foundation’s first in South America and Mr Cassar’s first ever. Since its inception, LifeCycle challenges have cycled more than 35,000km across 50 countries and five continents, raising an estimated €3,000,000 to help improve the lives of kidney disease patients.

“The worst day on the bike is still better than the best day on dialysis,” says Mr Cassar. “Finally, after three years of preparation, COVID-19 travel bans and last-minute cancellations, the challenge will start in two weeks’ time. It was the perfect time for me to take the plunge, to experience two countries on my all-time bucket list and push my physical and mental limits to their extremes. But the most important part of this challenge is to raise money for kidney research in memory of my Nanna and improving patients’ lives whilst undergoing treatment at the Renal Unit in Malta.”

Through the 10-day challenge, which entails gruelling mountain climbs, long Pampas roads and countless aching bones and sore muscles, the team’s collective ambition is to help make up for the lack of renal fundraising activities throughout the pandemic years. They hope to raise enough money to fund two Paediatric Haemodyalisis machines, a van to transport patients, a research programme on conditions leading to kidney failure and financial support for the annual patients’ trips to Lourdes.

Mr Cassar’s crowdfunding campaign on Zaar aims to raise €7,000 towards this goal, and, with the campaign set to close at the end of November, it has already raised over half this figure through the generosity of more than 40 backers.

“We are proud to join together the power of Malta’s community and the amazing LifeCycle cyclist team, including Steve Cassar, to support such a fantastic cause,” says Zaar Manager, Giselle Borg Oliver. “Through the generous donations and drive of each and every backer, this campaign is well on its way to reaching its funding goal and making a huge difference to the lives of renal patients in Malta.” 

Visitors can donate to the ‘Lifecycle Challenge – 2000km in 10 days for Renal Patients’ campaign at https://zaar.com.mt/projects/lifecycle-challenge-2000km-in-10-days-for-renal-patients/