STEPHEN Drinkwater will be drawing on his strength of optimism to finish the 200-kilometre Ride to Conquer Cancer marathon this weekend.
It's not the first time Mr Drinkwater, 52, has had to overcome a challenge, and they don't come much bigger than being diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 50.
The North Rocks resident is now in remission, two years since his operation.
Far from being bitter, Mr Drinkwater considers himself one of the "lucky ones" and wants to spread the message there are far worse-off people in the community who need help.
"I have a family history of cancer and was considered a five to one chance of contracting some form of cancer," Mr Drinkwater said.
Two years ago, Mr Drinkwater's fear came true and he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. He underwent surgery and is now in remission.
"I'm one of the lucky ones," he said. "My story is fairly insignificant when you compare my case to other cancer sufferers."
Having overcome his cancer scare, Mr Drinkwater is keen to promote awareness of the disease and raise money for cancer research.
To prepare for the marathon, Mr Drinkwater has been riding up and down the M7 cycleway and covering distances of up to 100 kilometres each session.
"Physically, for my age, I'm in good health so there's no worries there. I'm just focused on fund-raising and so far I've raised $3000 to help the cause," he said.
The Ride to Conquer Cancer starts at Sydney Olympic Park from 6.30am and breaks for the night in Camden. Riders then return to Sydney the following day.
■ For donations visit conquercancer.org.au.