Ken Cross

Ken Cross

Age: 41Kingston, ON

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Occupation: Regional Human Resources – Sears Canada, Human Resources Manager – SLH Transport

Occupation: Passionate Volunteer since 2009 Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation

Family: Married for 16 years to my best friend Colleen; father to three incredible girls; Leah 12, Megan 9 and Emma 6.

My biggest physical accomplishment to date: Cycling across Canada in 2009 and 2010

Destination Beyond Cancer – “It takes a village to raise a child”

In September 2013, as part of a team of cyclists across this great country, I will take part in my third Sears National Kids Cancer Ride. The cause is very important to me and thousands of families across Canada as it provides the much needed funds for research programs directly relating to childhood cancer and other childhood cancer programs.

So, the question that comes up is “why”, why are you doing this for a 3rd time? Well, for those who do not know our story let me tell you, and then I will answer the question “why”.

On April 24, 2008 our family received a call that would change our lives forever. What was normal in life changed to what my wife and I call “The New Normal”, living with cancer. Earlier that day our 4 year old daughter Megan went to our family doctor as we suspected that something was wrong (lethargic, bruising, no appetite). At 11:10pm our family doctor called saying that we needed to get Megan to the hospital. My wife and I made our way down to Kingston General Hospital and by 2:30am we were told that they suspected that Megan had Leukemia, and at 3:30am the words that no parent should hear were spoken, “Your Child has Cancer”.

By noon on April 25, 2008, our daughter received her first of many bone marrow extractions, spinal taps, blood transfusions and chemotherapy treatments. There were a lot of tears shed that day (and many days after) and for the first time in my life I felt helpless and unable to help my child fight an invisible menace. Cancer was holding my child hostage. Megan was diagnosed with AML Leukemia. Six months past and Megan’s treatment stopped and her cancer was in remission … or so we thought….. Megan returned to school in Sr. Kindergarten in January 2009 and did well with the support of the amazing staff and students at Mother Teresa Catholic School. 17 months past and everything was as normal as it could be (still going to appointments every month for counts) and the occasional stay in the hospital if her counts were down or infections. On February 21, 2010, Megan had an appointment for her regular checkup. Later in the afternoon we received a call from the oncology team that they needed to see us. Time stopped at that moment as we knew something was wrong. Later that afternoon we were told that Megan’s cancer had returned.

As we put the kids to bed that evening, knowing what we knew, we didn’t share the events of that day with the kids and decided to give them one more good night sleep before we shared the news. As my wife and I entered Megan’s room I sat down on her bed and we began to talk. It was then when Megan made a statement that will stay with me forever. She asked me if I would do the Sears National Ride again to help the kids. Little did she know her cancer was back and that I would be riding for her again in 2010 and in the near future she would be admitted into the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario to start the process for a bone marrow transplant.

We were admitted into Sick Kids in the first week of May to start the process to eliminate all her blood cells. On May 14, 2010, Megan received the greatest gift a sister could give, a bone marrow transplant to help her in battle against cancer. Megan was kept in isolation for the next 30 days.

Megan has been cancer free since her transplant, and on May 14, 2012 we celebrated 2 years post transplant, a milestone for a transplant recipient.

So, why do I ride and why am I riding again in 2013? The answer is simple, to help kids across Canada battling cancer. Kids like my daughter Megan, kids that I’ve met in Kingston and Camp Trillium, kids that I’ve met across Canada Since cancer entered our lives I found volunteering as a positive outlet in dealing with my daughters’ battle. I’ve had the priviledge of meeting children across Canada and their families to show them our support against this disease. I’ve been involved in developing community events through the Inside Ride and National Inside Ride as well as being a yearly guest lecturer at Queen University to 4th year Nursing students.

Help me by supporting this great cause as 100% of your donation will help kids living with and beyond cancer.

Thank you

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