Sunshine Beach resident Mark Panitz is competing in the Shitbox Rally this year with his car Cancer Busters. He has lost two family members to cancer and was diagnosed and treated for bowel cancer a few years ago.
Sunshine Beach resident Mark Panitz is competing in the Shitbox Rally this year with his car Cancer Busters. He has lost two family members to cancer and was diagnosed and treated for bowel cancer a few years ago.

The Cancer Busters set to rally on

MARK Panitz has made it his personal mission to bust cancer.

The Sunshine Beach resident has had a rough ride with cancer, losing his sister to the disease 10 years ago and his sister-in-law in March, not to mention being diagnosed and treated for bowel cancer himself three years ago.

Now he is facing a different kind of rough ride, the literal kind. He's taking part in the 3800km Shitbox Rally, driving a car worth less than $1000 from Adelaide to Cairns via the Oodnadatta Track and the Plenty Highway, to raise cancer research funds for the Cancer Council.

"If it wasn't for the detection and treatment of my bowel cancer and ongoing research to support it, I may not be here having opportunity to raise funds to help others," Mark said.

"I wanted to do something more so I applied to join the 2017 Shitbox Rally."

With his trusty co-driver, Rod Gramenz of Brisbane, the two men have named their team Cancer Busters.

They have given an old Falcon a facelift and turned it into a Cancer Busting machine to tackle some of the most arduous roads through central Australia.

This year marks the eighth Shitbox Rally. It was founded as a novel means of fundraising and awareness in the fight against cancer.

With more than $10million raised to date, the rally is the largest independent fundraiser for the Cancer Council nationally.

The funding is currently going to research into brain, liver, breast, skin and bowel cancers.

"I created a Facebook page in August last year and we are now well on the way to meeting our goal of raising $10,000 before the rally begins," Mark said.

"I am in awe of the generosity of those who have donated funds and also those who are providing material support.

"Sadly, throughout Australia many people have been touched by cancer - either personally or through friends.

"I am continually canvassing family, friends and acquaintances about the need for regular checks against the disease.

"However, we will beat this horrendous killer if there are sufficient funds for ongoing research."

The rally commences on May 27 and finishes on June 2, after which the car will be offered for sale at a fundraising auction.

Cancer Busters have raised nearly $9000 of their $10,000 goal. Donations can be made at the Cancer Busters' webpage.


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