Cycle race to smile about

Joanne McLeod does not regret losing nine toenails in the name of charity.

Joanne McLeod does not regret losing nine toenails in the name of charity.

The accomplished cyclist last week returned from Australia, where she completed a gruelling 250km race in one of the country's deserts to raise funds for the Smile Foundation.

"The race was challenging. Childbirth is much easier. I lost nine toenails in the process, my one big toenail is still hanging," McLeod said.

The Smile Foundation, which celebrates its 10th birthday this year, raises funds for reconstructive surgery for children with facial anomalies. The mother of two said she felt an "overwhelming joy" and great satisfaction when she crossed the finish line after a week in the outback. "Knowing that the money raised would put a smile on a child's face kept me going."

The foundation will sponsor the operations of 50 children during National Smile Week from June 7 to June 11.

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