From Sept. 15 to 22, 34 law enforcement and emergency services personnel will cycle 800 km across the coast of BC in support of the Canadian Cancer Society.
Photo courtesy Canadian Cancer Society
First responders cycle across coast of BC to raise money for Canadian Cancer Society
Published 1:02 PDT, Mon September 18, 2023
On Sept. 15, 34 law enforcement and emergency services personnel began cycling 800 km across the coast of BC until Sept. 22, with Cops for Cancer Tour de Coast in support of the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS).
Riders will engage area residents with tour stops at schools, local businesses, and community events on their journey across the region to raise funds for life-saving childhood cancer research and a national support system for children affected by cancer and their families.
With cancer being the leading cause of disease-related death in children under the age of 15, the Canadian Cancer Society is partnering with first responder agencies for the 24th Cops for Cancer Tour de Coast, to improve outcomes and change the future of childhood cancer forever.
Funds raised through Tour de Coast will support life-saving cancer research and national support services such as Camp Goodtimes, an essential program that gives families of children diagnosed with cancer opportunities to enjoy a summer camp experience in a stress-free and medically supervised environment.
"The whole world just falls out from underneath you when they say that your son has cancer," says John Togyi, a Cops for Cancer volunteer medic and Camp Goodtimes regular with his son Avery. "Camp Goodtimes gives families a break. You have this instant connection with people who have similar experiences. It lets you relax a bit and not have to put up barriers."
An estimated 1,050 children (ages 0-14) in Canada were diagnosed with cancer in 2021. As the largest charitable funder of childhood cancer research in Canada, CCS has invested $16.4 million toward the cause over the last 5 years. This investment is contributing to improved outcomes as the 5-year survival rate for childhood cancer is now 84 per cent, an increase from 71 per cent in the 1980s. However, 2 out of 3 children diagnosed with cancer suffer long-term or late side effects from their treatment.
"My father went through his journey with cancer in 2020, ultimately passing despite a valiant fight. I remember speaking with him while he was going through his treatment. It was the toughest fight he had ever been in, but despite that, he showed remarkable selflessness. He told me that even though the treatments had been difficult, what had troubled him the most was the thought of children having to face the same. He said no child should have to experience what he was going through," says rider Mike Wheeler, a member of the Vancouver Police Department. "His words had a remarkable impact on me, inspiring me to honour his memory by doing everything I could to help those children, and their families, facing their own journey through cancer. I also wanted to take the opportunity to teach my two young sons the importance of selflessness and battling for a cause bigger than ourselves. I want to impart the values of my father, into them, by setting an example for them to remember for the rest of the rest of their lives."
This year, longtime Cops for Cancer supporter Applewood Auto Group has signed on as the presenting sponsor for all four Cops for Cancer cycling tours taking place throughout the province.
Now more than ever, we need your support. To learn more about the program, find an event in your community, or make a donation, please visit copsforcancer.ca.