Kelly Hawkins

Kelly Hawkins

Age: 45 (yikes when did that happen)Oakville, ON

Rider Blog Donate Now

Occupation: Loves being a Vice President & Senior Investment Advisor, BMO Nesbit Burns

Family: Has been married to the love of my life Steve for the past 17 year, even though he got me into this crazy biking addiction

Lives with Steve and our dog Jack in Oakville, Ontario

Destination – Beyond Cancer!

Six years ago my husband, Steve, encouraged me to join his company’s team for a 4 day cycling event called the Tour for Kids. As an avid runner, cycling had never appealed to me. But given that it was for a good cause, I found myself purchasing my first road bike and began training. Needless to say, after my first Tour for Kids, I was hooked. This year I will be participating in my 6th Tour for Kids and my 4th Minden 150. These experiences and the people that I have met along the way have been life changing. When I sit back and think about it I often laugh, because for someone who never thought they could find enjoyment in cycling, I now feel nothing but pure exhilaration and inspiration from training each day for 10 months of the year.

I was first inspired to participate in the Coast to Coast when I saw a photo montage during the 2012 Tour for Kids. The images of cyclists dipping their wheels in the Pacific Ocean and then 17 days later in the Atlantic Ocean sparked something inside of me, and since then that spark has turned into a blazing flame.

This year I would like to dedicate my ride to Jessica Dunn, an incredible 14 year old that was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) which took her leg last year. Jessica went through a rotation plasty in where they attach the lower section of her leg so that her heel will now act as her knee joint. During her courageous battle and recover Jess developed Lung lesions and again went through Chemo. Throughout her entire ordeal, her strong spirit persevered. Shortly after this loss, and with the assistance of a walker, she insisted on walking into the gym of her school to speak to her peers about her experience and educate them on this disease. Jessica’s infectious personality and unwavering positive attitude has spread throughout the hospital and it seems to everyone she comes in contact with her. During her stay at Sick Kids Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia came through for a visit. Once he met Jess they were instantly fast friends. J.P. regularly calls to see how Jess is doing and has given shout outs to her in interviews. Jess is one amazing young lady.

It constantly amazes me how children and their families can maintain such a positive outlook, rarely retreating into moment’s self-pity or resentment. These children are some of the happiest I have ever met and I feel completely inspired by their stories. Not only do they dream bigger and louder than anyone I’ve met, but they have a determination and positivity within them that shines through and inspires the people around them to strive for greatness. My personal goal is to challenge my mental and physical limits while remaining inspired by the physical and emotional challenges that these children face on a daily basis.

I look forward to checking this accomplishment off of my bucket list. But more than that, I hope to help educate people across Canada about childhood cancer. Childhood cancer is the most underfunded of all cancers in Canada. Not only does it affect the children diagnosed, but it also has a drastic effect on family members who must provide emotional, mental and sometimes physical support around the clock. Very few people acknowledge the long lasting effects that cancer often has on many cancer survivors that follow them into adulthood. These effects include cardio vascular complications and learning difficulties that result from the treatments of this horrible disease. For these reasons, and many more, I am committed to ride and share as much information as I possibly can to people across this incredible country.

If I have learned anything else in the past 6 years, it is that my family, friends and colleagues are some of the most generous people I know. Each year when I approach them for support, both financial and emotional, they seem to go above and beyond without hesitation. With their constant and unconditional love and support, as well as emails and messages of encouragement, I have no doubt that I will be able to achieve my goal of riding from coast to coast towards a DESTINATION BEYOND CANCER!

Please Sponsor Me Read My Blog