Kiwi expat pushing limits for a brainy cause

5th September 2008, Comments 0 comments

Ten months after major brain surgery, an Amsterdam-based New Zealander is taking part in a triathlon to raise money for the Dutch and New Zealand Neurological Societies.

5 September 2008

David (Bondy) Bond (30) decided to take up the challenge to run, swim and bike the grueling Monaco Iron Man race only ten months after a 12-hour operation removed a tumour from his brain the size of a tennis ball.

The size and complexity of the tumour had meant there was significant risk of damage to nerve connections to the entire right side of Bondy’s body. Ninety minutes after surgery, Bondy awoke to one of the neurosurgeons asking him to wiggle his fingers and toes. He could—and no permanent nerve damage was sustained.
Path to recovery
During Bondy’s bedside recovery, fellow Kiwi and sport buff Mike Berry challenged his friend to join him in competing in the Monaco Ironman triathlon. Bondy accepted, seeing this challenge as a long-term goal and a path to recovery. He started training almost immediately by first regaining the strength to walk.

Bondy: training for the Monaco triathlon at the Texel triathlon 9 August 2008.

  Bondy: training for the Monaco triathlon at the Texel triathlon 9 August 2008.

One month after surgery, Bondy was told the good news that his tumour was benign but that he would still have to undergo thirty radiotherapy treatments over a six-week period.

Pushing the limits
Bondy wanted to continue his training and his radiologist agreed, as long as long as Bondy dropped his training intensity should any common radiotherapy side-effects appear, such as nausea and fatigue.

Today, three months after his last radiotherapy treatment, Bondy firmly believes that he did not suffer any side effects due to his rigorous mental and physical training.

A second chance
Of course, Bondy didn’t underestimate the excellent care he had received at the hands of the neurological community, which him “a second chance at life.”

He is therefore racing for both the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand and the Hersenstichting (the Neurological Foundation of the Netherlands).

The Monaco Ironman triathlon is on September 7, 2008, and includes a 1.9 km swim, a 90 km cycle and a 21.1 km run.

[Silvia ten Houten]

To read more on David Bond’s story or for more information on his fundraising quest for the Dutch and New Zealand Neurological Societies, visit


Expatica 2008

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