36 Cyclists to Pedal 6,800 km across Canada!
One of the world's longest charitable cycling events on behalf of childhood cancer is taking place this summer from June 13 to June 24, 2008. Gordon Drummond, 49 of Peace River, Alberta, is one of the 36 National Riders.
This is the second year of this annual national event in which 36 National Riders, like Drummond, from across Canada will cycle across the country in the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride in support of childhood cancer charities. They will be cycling from Vancouver to Halifax, covering 6,800 km over the 12 days. Riders will cycle through hundreds of cities and towns across the country - including stops at many of the 17 pediatric oncology centers and sponsor locations - where community events and rides will take place in support of kids and families fighting this debilitating disease. Together, with every pedal stroke they will raise money for a cause that touches the lives of many!
Their goal is to raise $2.0 million in donations from Canadians coast to coast in support of these brave young children fighting cancer and their families who are supporting them. Funds raised will go in part to national and local programs to support childhood cancer, including national research and education initiatives and programs in partnership with the doctors and nurses from the 17 pediatric oncology centers across Canada. Funds raised will also support specific childhood cancer programs within the oncology units and hospitals across the country.
Why did Drummond decided to get involved? "At any given time, cancer holds 10,000 Canadian children in its grip. Our son Clark was one of those children. At 18 months, he was diagnosed with AML - Acute Myeloid Leukemia. (A more rare form of leukemia.) Cancer robs the child, and their families, of the laughter and joy that should be part of every childhood. Riding in the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride will channel my physical, mental and emotional energy into something much greater – helping brave children return to life as regular kids again. I'll share the road with a crowd of athletes, united in our commitment to the childhood cancer community. Your support is welcome and needed. Please join me in this powerful and inspiring experience by helping to fund important childhood cancer charities across Canada." Young Drummond is is currently in remission for 2 1/2 years and is going for the cure!
During the Drummonds' time in Edmonton, they received so much support through many of the programs and the research for which this event is fundraising. This is one family's way of paying it forward. Drummond's wife, Barb, has also decided to participate and is cycling a 100 km stage ride. She has dedicated her ride to the siblings of children with cancer. "There is perhaps nothing more painful for a parent, than having to confront the serious illness of a child. In November of 2005 my husband Gordon and I faced such pain. Our youngest son was diagnosed with AML - Acute Myeloid Leukemia. As parents we found ourselves pulled in so many directions at the same time - trying to comfort Clark, trying to deal with our own pain and fear, trying to ease each other's anguish, trying to manage our business and trying to ensure that our other children felt loved and comforted as well. Almost inevitably, one of these areas sink to the bottom of the priority list. Gordon is riding to help the 10000 children who will be diagnosed this year alone with some form of cancer and for our son Clark who is going for the cure! Me? Well, I decided to dedicate my portion of this ride to the approximately 12000 children each year who will discover that their brother or sister has cancer, and for my other beloved children who were amazing siblings throughout their little brother's illness and beyond. Your generous donations are a treasured and essential gift for the children who are fighting cancer and for their families who love them."
Through the funds this ride receives, other families who face this devastating disease will have the supports in place and perhaps achieve a faster remission or faster CURE!
Drummond has already trained for over 5 months- indoors on his spinner - putting in over 3500 kilometers and over 300 hours. When the weather becomes more favorable in his hometown of Peace River, Alberta, then he will hit the road. In June he will spend over two weeks on his bike because he believe's this is a critical cause that needs our support. And, because of the unique governance model of the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, which hosts this event, 100% of the funds raised will go directly to programs and research that will make a meaningful difference.
"As someone who, on a daily basis, sees the devastating affects of this disease can have on both kids who suffer from it and their families, I see the impact funds from this event will have on the frontlines of this battle. On behalf of all doctors and health care professionals working in the field of childhood cancer care in Canada, I give my full support to this tremendous initiative and applaud all those who contribute by riding, fundraising and volunteering, and especially those who are donating, to improve the quality of life for our children with cancer." Dr. Victor Blanchette, Chair, Canadian Council of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Directors.
"We would love your help in letting others know about this ride and this important cause! We have included a link to the website and if you wish, please contact Steven Sokolowski from the Foundation, to learn more about the Ride or hear from local riders, oncology experts, families or patients."
Thank you to Coast to Coast for media information.