Tess Bernadette

Tess Bernadette is my eldest sister, just 2 years older than me. Tess died from Melanoma Cancer when only 31 years young.

Tess's birthday is in March and Cycling to March is even more personally significant because of this.

Tess was inspirational to many as her passion for life, family and friends, will readily be tantamount in comments made as the Cycling to March unfolds.

Prayer, opera, singing, Karaoke, drama, theatre and other facets of the Arts were all characteristic of Tess' approach to life, accepting what came her way, encouraging those around her to 'take risks and live life forward'.

The gift of her incredible voice and spirit will be in my thoughts and heart throughout Cycling to March.

Show Your Support

This page is about showing your support by:

- Share a photo of you, your work colleagues or a classroom photo
- Share a memory or a short story of a loved one
- Share how you have experienced Melanoma

By showing your support below you are letting people know that:

- YOU ARE AWARE of Melanoma
- YOU ARE AWARE that it does affect young Australians
- YOU ARE AWARE that the fight is underway to find a cure!

And of course by marching in Melanoma March on Sunday March 23, 2014.

Exercise Physiologist

Luke MacDonald
BClinExSci Hons MESSA
Exercise Physiologist,
Sports Scientist

Luke is showing his support by offering his experience to assist with exercise related questions throughout Cycling to March.
Read More >

In 2013, Luke completed a research honors investigating the effect of upper body exercise induced fatigue on the human postural system.

He is currently working as a Senior Exercise Physiologist and Sports Scientist for Safe and Healthy People, a Gold Coast Allied Health company. He works with anyone from sporting injury rehab and prevention, to chronic disease and lifestyle modification.

He is completing a PhD with Griffith University in the area of mental fatigue in sport, working with professional Ironmen and women, world tour surfers, and will be soon joining a research team with the Australian Weightlifting Federation (AWF) and Australian Baseball.

Luke's passions lie in human potential, both in sport and health.

What is cross training and does it offer any significant benefits?

Cross training is typically defined as an exercise regimen that uses several modes of training to develop a specific component of fitness; in this instance, aerobic fitness.

A relatively sound argument can be advanced to support the premise that using two or more types of aerobic exercise in your training regimen is in your best interests.

What are two essential stretches I should do before I plan a long cycling training session?

When considering a warm-up for any exercise, as the words suggest, you are trying to make sure the muscles are ‘warm’ and flexible to limit any risk of injury. A simple routine of dynamic stretching and a brief (~10mins) light intensity ride will be best before a long cycling training session. Here is a great clip from a Strength and Conditioning coach in Edinburgh that addresses all musculature used in cycling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yv-oR5w9p0

Note: remember to perform static stretches after every cycling session. The exercised muscles will be stiff after a session, and this will help limit soreness and improve elongation of the muscle. Here is another great link for some static stretches: pay particular attention to the second half of the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p05Vr3u_rS0

If my leg muscles are feeling tight do you recommend using products like 'deep heat' or should I be resting?

There is a lot of speculation behind what therapies should be used to limit muscle soreness during heavy training. Cooling such as ice baths or icing has shown to limit inflammation and is very effective for soft tissue injuries (muscle strain etc) whereas heating, such as deep heat, heat packs etc has a haemophilic response (increased blood flow) to the site which can also help with muscle recovery.

Although this is very individualized I would recommend cooling after a long session, and if muscles are stiff prior to the next session, some heating therapy before the warm-up. Of course, there are other solutions that must be considered. Anti-inflammatory medication can help reduce swelling but check with your general practitioner when using drug-therapies. Stretching, eating well (proteins for muscle recovery directly after the session), staying hydrated, and even a massage to assist recovery.

On Friday (Day 3) I put a bit of extra strain on my legs as I pushed against the head wind. That night the inside of my right ankle was a little swollen and sore on the Achilles tendon. How should I treat this?

R.I.C.E - Rest,Ice,Compress,Elevate. Tonight make sure you rest, ice and elevate. Tomorrow perform your regular yoga warm up and if you experience discomfort when you start to cycle, use your compression bandage and strap the ankle as we practiced together and when you finish for the day R.I.C.E.

McGowan and Chan Family.

Congratulations Raph! We are all so very proud of what you are doing, Tess especially. Just cannot wait to help. God bless. Love you very much.

We support Raphael's Cycling to March!

We would like to thanks Raphael for taking this great initiative. Combination of Cycling, Fundraising for Melanoma Cancer Research and Increasing Awareness about this Cancer to Australians is an innovative and different approach. We feel proud to be his friend and praying for the successful event.

Subodh and Family.

I'm obliged to be a part of your well wishers! As my Father spent his whole life riding on a bicycle and spreading awareness for saving fuel/money and keeping healthy. I will be sharing your website as much as I can because you are taking so much of pain for a good cause so that people get inspired to do such things. Happy journey:) Subodh Sathe, India

Go Raphael - a great & shared cause!

Good luck Raphael with the HUGE cycle challenge. Before you leave Bondi we will have finished OUR challenge on Feb 9 at North Bondi - also for Melanoma awareness - in memory of our beautiful brother Angus - see our story on http://www.everydayhero.com.au/event/TeamPlayfair2014

Dedication for a great cause!

Raph, this is an amazing display of dedication and hard work for a great cause. I wish you the best of luck and I look forward to seeing you at the finish line!!

We wish you every success

We are so happy to be able to show our support for this great event. I know how much its success means to you, your heart is connected to this Raph, you will win! My family wishes you every success on this journey!

Support from Apollo Bay

Hi Raphael I’m so sorry to hear about your sister. What a devastating disease it is. I hope your bike ride goes well and look forward to seeing you in Apollo Bay on the 7th March. Thank you for contacting the Apollo Bay Community Website to help you spread the word. www.apollobay.vic.au

Hon. Robyn Parker MP

NSW Minister of the Environment offering her support and acknowledgment of the seriousness of melanoma among the Australian youth.

Clover Moore, Sydney Lord Mayor

Cycling to March was recognised by the Sydney Lord Mayor for the efforts in raising awareness of melanoma and funds towards a cure.

Best Wishes for your Journey

Here's to you and all your efforts towards fighting Melanoma. You're dedication and hard work has been incredible to watch over the past 6 months. Tess will surely be watching over you during your journey. Safe travels from the US! There are many of us here thinking of you.

You can do it!

Raphael, I'm so proud of you for turning your desire to raise awareness of melanoma into this amazing challenge! Wishing you all the best for your enormous ride and we'll see you at Melanoma March!

Rebecca Phelan (Rice)

Goodluck Raph. Such a wonderful thing to do for your dear sister. I was good friends with Tess at uni and was so happy to go to her wedding and then meet her beautiful baby girl. The world is a darker place without Tess.I think about her always and will never forget how amazing she was. Thinking of Victor, Mabel and your whole family. All the best. Xox

Collette McGowan

I am so proud of big brother Raph and I know that our Angel Tessy would be as well xxxx You are an inspiration, just as Tess was to all of us. I am so beyond blessed to have the siblings and family that I do. We choose to bring awareness to Melanoma to try and make a difference to every one out there that has or will be affected by it. We can make a difference and Raphy is proving that!!


We're all so proud of you journey and love that we can keep you safe on the roads with the RearViz! We love reading your daily de-briefs and being able to generate awareness on a global platform about Melanoma, the Melanoma Institute Australia, you, and of course, your sister Tess. You inspire each and every one of us every single day Raphael. Thank you!! Look forward, see behind. RearViz


We're all so proud of you journey and love that we can keep you safe on the roads with the RearViz! We love reading your daily de-briefs and being able to generate awareness on a global platform about Melanoma, the Melanoma Institute Australia, you, and of course, your sister Tess. You inspire each and every one of us every single day Raphael. Thank you!! Look forward, see behind. RearViz

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