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David Heaslip

Name: David Heaslip

Age: 68

Occupation: Retired

Hometown: Bracebridge, Ontario

Family: Married to Karen 47 years - 3 children, 7 grandchildren & 2 great grandchildren

Your biggest physical accomplishments to date: Concept 2 million meter indoor rowing: MS Ride - Brampton/Guelph/Brampton : Tour For Kids : a few social century rides


The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination. I know we can make a difference!

In 1998, while I was working in Toronto, I decided to make a lifestyle change. My business schedule had packed on the weight. I proceeded to lose 54 pounds.

When I retired in 2000, I went to Mohawk College and took some strength conditioning courses. Then I enrolled with CanFitPro and became a certified Personal Trainer. Shortly thereafter, I did a Wellness and Nutrition course at Humber College. I had moved to our lakeside home in Muskoka, and joined Muskoka Fitness in Bracebridge. While a relatively new member, I completed the Million Metre Row on the indoor rowing machine. I started cycling socially in 2002 with other club members, and quickly became addicted. I soon started Sunday morning century rides (100 km) throughout Muskoka. While I still consider myself a recreational rider, I have ridden in the MS Ride (Brampton-Guelph-Brampton), the Lake of Bays tour, and the Tour for Kids Ride in Toronto.

I now live in Bracebridge with my wife of 47 years, Karen. We have three children – Dave, Debi and Todd – 7 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.

Why would a recreational cyclist like me want to ride across Canada?

For the last two years at the Can-Fit-Pro conference in Toronto I heard about this ride, saw the videos, and was taken in by the cause – childhood cancer. When I got home, I talked about my need to do this for the kids with Karen, and her support was evident.

Why? Helping children. Fighting cancer.

I know that cancer touches us all, but childhood cancer is much different. We’ve got to do everything we can to help eradicate this disease. Much progress has been made, but we must not just maintain our effort – we need to increase it.

Raising money. 100 cents on the dollar goes directly to the cause. Money raised doesn’t get eaten up by administration fees. It all goes to improve the lives of children with cancer. Through my efforts I can demonstrate to my children and grandchildren the sense of giving back, as my parents did in me. I have the chance to be one small part of a truly national team, working together and supporting each other through an incredible challenge.

I simply cannot comprehend the devastation that parents must experience when they are told that their child has cancer. Imagine what they must go through. I will be riding for those Mom’s and Dad’s, whose lives are turned upside down by such an experience, as I know that they don’t have the time or energy to do it for themselves.

We’re just a group of 40 regular folks who will be riding together for a common cause. We will be supported by many, many volunteers (on the road and in each town we stop in), ride-along cyclists who will join us for shorter segments in various places across the country, and most importantly, by friends and family who will support us financially through their donations. My wife’s gift to me is not only her encouragement and support as I train for this ride. She has paid my $4000 application fee and she’ll be giving up a lot of our “together” time while I’m out raising funds to meet my goal.