A total of 13 riders from the Coast raised almost $20,000 for cancer research last weekend during the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
Cyclists from Gibsons to Pender Harbour took part in the ride, each pedalling more than 230 km for donations from the public to benefit the B.C. Cancer Foundation.
Riders Clint Fox and Barry Krangle cycled on behalf of School District No. 46, raising $8,600 for the worthy cause.
The Elphinstone Secondary School teacher and Madeira Park Elementary School principal took special cards of remembrance with them on the ride.
The cards were in the shape of bicycles and students wrote names of loved ones affected by cancer on them, saying their teacher/principal was riding for that person.
“There was an amazing number of names that kids wrote down. I know we had a mom in our community lose her life to cancer and her name was all over them and people’s grandparents,” Krangle said, noting the cards were posted on the walls at schools. “Several teachers stood and looked at the wall and were quite touched by the kids’ tributes.”
Krangle and Fox took the cards along with them on the ride.
“It really kept us going and it was really neat to know the students had an attachment to this ride as well,” Krangle said. “It was a powerful idea, to have so many students right there along with us.”
The highlight for Krangle, he said, was the overwhelmingly positive feeling that cancer can be beaten.
“It was the stories that kept us pumped, unbelievable tales of courage and hope,” Krangle said. “The energy and sense of hope to beat cancer was overwhelming throughout our journey.”
Sechelt rider Scott Minch also said the feeling of hope and positivity was a highlight.
“Seeing people riding the route who were cancer survivors was a big thing. All of the people who have beaten cancer or who are going through it or in remission have a yellow flag on their bike,” Minch said. “There were a lot of yellow flags.”
Minch has been involved in the Ride to Conquer Cancer for three consecutive years, pedalling in memory of his sister who lost her battle with breast cancer in 1998.
Gibsons’ Katie Duncan took part for the first time last weekend, riding in memory of the brother she lost in 2007 and in support of her son and father who are both cancer survivors.
She was struck by the diversity on the ride with bikers ranging in age from seven to 78.
“And they were all shapes and sizes. It’s a really well organized ride and the experience was amazing. I’m telling everyone they have to do it,” she said.
The other Coast participants according to organizers were: Randy Scott and David Sawley from Gibsons; Kara McDonnell, Liz Bazin and Tom Howard from Roberts Creek, Andrew Hansen, Peter Lietz, Trevor Chapman and Sue Spurgeon from Sechelt.
The Coast participants joined more than 2,000 other riders from around the province last weekend in an effort to raise millions for cancer research. They succeeded, bringing in $9.1 million for the BC Cancer Foundation. The money will be used to support research and enhancements to care at the BC Cancer Agency.
“We are so grateful to this passionate community who helped make the sixth annual Ride to Conquer Cancer a success. Together they are changing the face of cancer in B.C.,” said Douglas Nelson, president and CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation.
“Over 24,000 British Columbians will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Thank you for stepping up to create a strong momentum to raise funds for cancer research that is improving the lives of patients and families across the province.”
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