Age: 40Beamsville, ON
Occupation: Equine Nutrition Sales Manager
I am extremely excited to be a National Rider for the Sears National Kids Cancer ride this year!
After my wife Cherie road her bike across Canada in 2011 I knew this was a life changing moment for our family. I knew I needed to get a bike so we could ride together and continue to support the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation. Initially we thought this endeavour meant that we would ride Tour for Kids (which is the Foundations 4 day cycling event each summer). I had no idea that down the road I too would be preparing for such a journey as to ride across Canada!
Why do I ride? What does our support mean to these families?
It was day 3 of my first Tour for Kids. On that cool morning I stood amongst 550 riders standing ready to ride. Cherie and I were going to challenge ourselves and ride 160km to Collingwood. We’d heard that the ride was tough and a lot of climbing but that it was worth it! Before we road that day Janice got up to share her story. She told us about her son and how much his time at camp had meant to him (and to her). Camp Trillium (one of 3 Oncology Camps in Ontario) was a place where he could just be a kid! She went on to tell us that he died in his early twenties. She also told us about her youngest son. He too was diagnosed with cancer and passed away a few years later. How can one person bare so much pain? She lost both her children to cancer. I was overwhelmed that she would take this time to come and tell all of us about what our support means to her everyday. Even years later knowing that we are riding to raise funds to support these camps, to provide funds for the oncology units across Canada and to contribute funds to make it possible for life changing research and one day a cure to be found, helps this mom live on each day without her children. It hit me; that’s when I realized that the story had to change. I could no longer go through life blind to the suffering that this and so many other families go through when they fight cancer. I had to do more. I had to go further.
My wife Cherie is a RN at the Hospital for Sick Children. She occasionally shares some of the details of what these families are facing. I used to listen to these stories and think about how fortunate I am to be a father of 3 healthy children. But after listening to Janice tell her story I realized a couple things. The first thing was that the suffering that the children and families go through while they fight cancer does not end when the child’s fight with cancer is over. I used to think that when a child passed away that at least they weren’t suffering anymore. I also thought that if they were cured the family could forget and put this all behind them. As I looked around the parking lot on that chilly August morning at the riders getting ready to ride I realized how limited my view had been. The suffering had not ended, many of the riders were there because they were the parents of (or a family member of) a child that had fought cancer. I had to do more to support these families that were still suffering after such devastating losses and traumatic fights against cancer. I ride for the parents, families and children!
Not everyone can ride BUT everyone can make a difference! Now, I want to give you an opportunity to get involved because a ride across this great country of ours is meaningless unless it accomplishes a goal. Today, more than 80% of children diagnosed with cancer become long-term survivors and the majority of them are considered cured. However, 60% of survivors have long lasting challenges and disabilities due to the impact of treatment from their cancer.
Help me change this story and donate to this worthy cause! 100% of your donation supports cancer centres across Canada, families fighting cancer, kid’s cancer camps and children’s cancer research. There are no administration fees taken from your donation. As riders we pay our own way. I took on a second job this winter to pay the entrance fee to ride Coast to Coast. How can you raise some money to help me change the story from 80% of the children surviving cancer to 100%? Tell a friend my story. Tell a friend your story? Everyone knows someone affected by cancer. Who can you tell? Let’s help our friends, let’s help these families; and let’s help these children conquer this disease. Every dollar helps! Maybe you can’t ride but I can- partner with me and you too can be part of accomplishing this goal. Please support me and this foundation as I take on this challenge to raise $25,000. The goal: to support these kids and families, to conquer cancer and to ride across Canada to show them our love and passion to help change the story of cancer.
Thanks for your support!