Age: 47Thornhill, ON
Occupation: Occupational Health & Safety Consultant, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited
Family: Married to my husband Greg for 12 years; aunt to 6 healthy nieces and 1 healthy nephew.
Greatest achievement so far: While riding my bicycle in New Zealand, colliding with a truck and surviving.
2014 is proving to be a pivotal year for me. I am celebrating three major anniversaries: twenty-five years of employment with McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd, fifteen years since a serious cycling accident in New Zealand nearly put me in a wheelchair, and ten years of riding on behalf of the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation. I know a bit about “long roads.” After spending five weeks in hospital after the accident and another two years of rehabilitation to recuperate, I remained positive. The determination and grit that made me get back on the bike is being put to use in my latest endeavour.
My association with Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation started as a personal challenge in 2005 – can I ride 4 days for 100km? At the end of the first day I saw these kids playing softball against local EMS near Camp. One young girl was nothing but skin and bones, having just finished her treatments…she was having so much fun being outside and just being a kid. I realized then that this wicked disease knows no bounds.
Over the years I’ve met children who have cancer; I’ve met parents of children who have cancer. Their strength of spirit amazes me. Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation provides them with the resources and support they need to fight. I’m proud to be a committed volunteer raising desperately needed money to support childhood cancer research, financial support to families so they can travel to one of the 17 childhood oncology centres in Canada and financial support of the children’s oncology camps.
I’m proud to work for McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited. And I’m proud of the Ronald McDonald House program. The Ronald McDonald Houses help massively by providing a much-needed place for a family to stay and closes the loop on the cycle of healing by allowing families to be with their child as they fight cancer and other diseases. McDonald’s provides the funding for the administration of the charity, but we all have a part to play in making this charity a success – this I see. I want to help in other ways too, and the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride gives me an opportunity, because I can do this.
Just as I received the support of family and friends 15 years ago, I will depend on these same people for support as I prepare to ride across the country. I love a challenge and am passionate about this charity. “Over the years I’ve met children who have cancer; I’ve met parents of children who have cancer. Their strength of spirit amazes me. Each time I hear about a family affected by childhood cancer, I am resolved to help so that no parent has to hear the words “your child has cancer”.”