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Vicki Dunleavy

Name: Vicki Dunleavy

Age: Turning 43 in 2010

Hometown: Creemore, Ontario

Family: Single, Mother of 2 daughters

Biggest physical accomplishment to date: 18 months of chemotherapy (1975), Tour for Kids 2005, 2006, 2007

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I was born in Toronto, raised in Georgetown Ontario and have slowly migrated further north to Creemore.  Cycling has always been part of my life.  I have many years of long rides under my legs, and a few years of finding time for short rides when my daughters were younger. 

At age 8 (1975) I was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma (a muscle cancer) and was treated at Sick Kid’s hospital in Toronto.  Health professionals I have met through volunteering for various cancer organizations during the past five years tell me I am “rare” as not many kids survived cancer in the 1970’s.  One radiologist asked if he could speak to me after I gave a short talk about my cancer experience.  He explained that he does not get to speak to his patients after treatment.  I asked “why not?” to which he replied, “they don’t usually survive”.  I feel very lucky to have beat the odds first given to me at the time of my diagnosis, a 20% survival rate.  I am also very happy to have kept my left leg as I remember hearing that if the tumor had been four inches lower the doctors would have amputated my leg.  Today the treatments for childhood cancers have become less evasive I am told but it is still a horrible experience that takes away the best years of life - childhood.  Years that cannot be given back. The treatment and cure is a 24/7 process that takes over 2-3 years.

Why I am riding is now obvious.  Below are reasons why the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation is my organization of choice to focus my fundraising and volunteer efforts.

I believe in the vision and mandate of the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride:  to create high quality, physically challenging events on a national basis to raise needed funding for worthy childhood cancer charities.

The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride is the only childhood cancer event of its kind in Canada:  the only national organization in Canada focused on childhood cancer fundraising.

Children are a key segment of our society that desperately need our support: while promoting the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride someone responded with “kids do not get cancer, it is an old person disease”.  This comment emphasizes the need to raise awareness and generate support for new childhood cancer support programs.  With childhood cancer representing only 2% of the adult cancer epidemic in Canada, this area of research and care is under-supported.