By Luke Voogt
Torquay brown belt Ryan Gibson will grapple for 12 hours straight to fight cancer in honour of his grandfather and former Indonesian Secretary of State Djohan Effendi.
“My grandpa was an amazing man and influential in my upbringing,” the 22-year-old said.
Mr Effendi rose to the third-highest position in Indonesian politics after surviving childhood poverty.
“He grew up with no dad – his mum would have had to work so much,” Gibson said.
“He brought himself up in a third world country and he was so hungry for knowledge, but so humble at the same time.”
After retiring from public life, Mr Effendi moved to Geelong where he later died of myeloma – a type of blood cancer – at age 78 in 2017.
In honour of his grandfather, Gibson will use 14 years of martial arts experience to help prevent others losing someone to cancer.
Gibson will spar opponent after opponent for 12 consecutive hours, showcasing Jiu Jitsu moves and training drills, in his Roll against Cancer.
He has been training several times a week at his South Geelong club, DC Jiu Jitsu, in preparation for the martial arts marathon.
“I’m taking this very seriously – it’s like a little training camp,” he said.
“I want to absolutely kill this.”
Gibson will livestream his progress beginning at 8am on June 6, and is searching for sponsors to help him raise funds for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.
The foundation supports Australian researchers developing new methods to prevent, detect and treat cancer.
“I want to help as many people as I can,” Gibson said.