Name: David Wilson
Age: 52 - (turning 53 during the ride but don’t tell anyone)
Occupation: Self Employed - Medical device manufacturer and Nuclear Medicine consultant
Hometown: Oakville, Ontario
Family: Divorced - father of two: Kaitlin (12) and Taylor (10)
Biggest physical accomplishment(s) to date: as a single dad getting my daughter ready for her first day of school so she would look just as perfect as the other girls, my second most difficult task was telling the kids once upon a time that daddy had cancer, 4 Tour For Kids EPIC Rides (3 as a marshal)
It’s about giving something back and finding balance
I have always loved cycling and it was one of the reasons I moved to Oakville when my daughter, Kaitlin was 18 months and the little guy, Taylor was just a lump on the horizon. It just seemed like a great idea. It also seemed a lot better riding out here than the “donut” ride in Toronto. Anyway I love the burbs.
It was around that time that just by chance I was diagnosed with cancer. I was terrified, not so much for myself but for the thought that two very special little people may grow up not knowing who I was and how I desperately loved them. Priorities became very different.
I remember coming back from the hospital after I had undergone radiation therapy and feeling as if I was something that lived under a rock. It was an awakening. The doctor told me that because I would be marginally radioactive for a while I had to stay clear of any young children as their thyroids were exceptionally sensitive to the kind of glow in the dark aura I was giving off. It was pretty difficult to stay away from my kids as I am a huge kling-on. I remember once, Kaitlin at 3, took one look around the room, and announced, “Daddy, I don’t see any doctors do you?” and sprinted across the room gave me a soul wrenching hug and dashed back to a safe distance. I am sure it wasn’t all that dangerous but that was one of those moments that helped me redefine my life.
Another chance circumstance was when I surfed on Google for a local bike club that had a cancer angle and up came the blogs on the first Coast to Coast Ride. I reached out to Jeff and the rest is history.
My passion for cancer helped launch Positron Emission Tomography in Ontario and is leading to the building of a Center for Molecular Imaging that will offer state of the art cardiac and cancer imaging and research facilities. It will also serve as the first non US trial site for some revolutionary new breast imaging technology developed at the Mayo Clinic
My friends smile and tell me sometimes that I am incredibly resilient and I have to start thinking of myself and I am working on it but in the interim I truly believe that this ride will make a difference for kids with cancer, their families, me, my friends and my own little family.