National Kids Cancer Ride

NKCR – Kamloops to Sicamous – Dedicated to Alexander

First the good news – no mechanical issues today. I got through the 171km ride without a hitch!  Here’s to keeping that up.

Today’s was my longest ride ever (at least for one day…) and it was the first night in the bunk trucks. No issues there, but I did manage to lose part of my bedding over the edge during the night 🙂

An early start this morning, 5am up, 5:30 breakfast. The folks at Cora’s in Kamloops were fantastic, and the breakfast was just the right thing to start our day.

Next came our daily circle and dedication. Today, National Rider Chuck Magnus read a story about Alexander, and again the tears were flowing. Alexander was courageous, strong, determined, kind, thoughtful, sweet and fun. At two years old, he exemplified traits that a grown man could only expire to have. When he was two, he contracted the H1N1 virus, and if that was not bad enough, the flu weakend him enough to show deeper problems. Alexander was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor (abundant neuropil and true rosettes – ETANTR). Alexander was only the 36th case of this virus in recorded history, and to date, no one has survived this aggressive cancer. Alexander underwent treatments including chemotherapy, high-dose and intrathraceal chemo, stem cell transplants, brain and spinal radiation, LPs, CTs, MRIs, blood draws and countless other proceedures. Unfortunately the tumor kept growing and 10 months later, Alexander earned his wings, and passed on from his cancer.

Alexander’s parents donated his brain and tumor for research, and from this researchers in Calgary were able to develop a strain of cells to further test and research this aggressive tumor. Today Alexander’s cells are used across the world to research this disease. While his legacy lives on, we need your help to fund further research into all forms of cancer, and you can donate at snkcr.com/richmeesters.

After the dedication, it was time to hit the road. We encountered our first serious climb of the trip once we got outside of Kamloops taking us up 289m over a 14km length. Not too different from what I experience at home but good to do with a great group of people.

Again some beautiful vistas along the way (although still fairly smoky), and a good time with my “wheel family”. We all have our own reasons for riding, some of them very touching. My friend and co-rider Shelly Wood, dedicates a ride every day to someone. Today it was Briony, the daughter of fellow rider Lynn Fast, who also lost her life, in February 2009, to an agressive brain tumor (Anaplastic Astrocystoma). I encourage you to read Briony’s store here.

After lunch, we rode on, with a slight detour through Armstrong, rather than our planned route towards Salmon Arm – we encountered a closed road due to the forest fire. The day ended with a great group of people, some dinner and then a shuttle to Lake Louise.

Until tomorrow,

Rich Meesters, National Rider

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