Cyclists crossing country to fight cancer

Dave Ogilvie

Last Tuesday (Sept. 14), a group of cyclists from the “Sears National Kids Cancer Ride” rode through the district as part of their 7,000-km trek from Vancouver to Halifax.
“Team One,” consisting of 14 riders, biked from Kenora to Emo, stopping briefly at Norlund’s Oil for a rest and some refreshments before proceeding to Fort Frances, where they showered and were served supper by the local Legion.
“Team Two” then took over, riding the 154 km between Fort Frances and Atikokan.
The final section of the ride—from Atikokan to Thunder Bay—was covered by “Team Three.”
On Sept. 9, 42 dedicated and well-trained riders left Vancouver with the goal of reaching Halifax in just 15 days.
These riders, who had to pay $4,000 in order to join the group and also raise at least $25,000 each, are riding on behalf of the 10,000 children in Canada who are battling cancer.
The riders will visit 17 pediatric oncology hospitals on their tour, where the local cancer community will share their inspirational stories with the cyclists, volunteers, friends, families, and media.
The cyclists also are making this trip because they’ve all been touched by cancer in some way.
By using three teams, the riders literally are able to leapfrog across the country, covering triple the distance in the same amount of time. By using this method, the 42 riders will be able to reach Halifax by Sept. 23—and also their goal of raising $1.5 million.
“We’ve asked the riders to take three weeks from their jobs and away from their families in order to complete this goal,” noted one rider from Team One.
“If we rode as one whole group, it would probably take us 45 days and that’s just too much to ask of our members,” he added.
The riders began as one large group in Vancouver, and also will ride together in southern Ontario as they enter Toronto, before finishing their 7,000-km journey together in Halifax.
The “Sears National Kids Cancer Ride” brings hope to children living with and beyond cancer.
At each rest stop, the organizing crew props up “sandwich boards” which share the personal history of a Canadian youth who either has beaten cancer or still is battling the disease.
Although each rider is participating in this journey for personal reasons, they all have one goal in common: beating cancer.
As Josh Nelson, cancer survivor and 2010 national rider, stated in their advertising brochure, “50 years ago, less than 10 percent of childhood patients could be cured.
“Thanks to research, today more than 75 percent of children diagnosed with cancer become long-term survivors.
“Let’s not stop until 100 percent of those children can be cured,” he added.
The “Sears National Kids Cancer Ride,” in its third year, still is developing a following and needs the support of all Canadians, especially those who have been touched by cancer.
If you would like to follow the progress of these amazing riders and donate to this worthy cause, visit