National Kids Cancer Ride

NKCR 2019 – Day 9 – Atikokan to Thunder Bay

This mornings dedication was given by Frank Molinari for Sean, another child who became an Angel at the age of 13.  His journey was chronicled in the book ‘10 needles’ (https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0070ZY22U/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_awdo_tWTEDbAB762D7)

Since his initial diagnosis at the age of six until his passing, he had:

  • More than 1,000 painkiller cocktails to ingest
  • More than 1,000 needles
  • More than 200 blood transfusions
  • 40 rounds of chemotherapy (120 weeks)
  • 30 weeks of radiation
  • 15 surgeries

I’m speechless to the courage that this child had to endure… could I endure something like that?  It’s not right or fair that any child should have to…

We then shuttled to our starting point, the weather was cold and the headwinds were strong… Jennifer Thiedemann (our crew chief and also a bereaved mother) gathered us around to remind us that crap weather and headwind is nothing compared to what a child like Sean has to endure… so f@$k the headwind and ride hard!  And we did….

It was darn cold, and the wind was indeed brutal but we pushed through as far as we could but falling short of the target distance… but that’s ok… again, it’s not always about the distance but the heart and teamwork shown to get us to that point.

Once in Thunder Bay, we rode our bikes up the hill to the Terry Fox memorial… before moving in to view the statue, we gathered to discuss what Terry did and the impact it had… we also reflected that the journey we are taking now is inspired by this man and his endeavour… again it is humbling to be a part of this.

When my daughter was diagnosed a week before grade 8 was to start, she was unable to participate in the school ‘Terry Fox Run’… her friends formed a team called ‘Jog for Jace’ and wore T-Shirts with her picture… Jocelyn was able to come visit, but was having difficulty walking so she waited at the lap mark… as her friends ran/walked past they gave her a high five and collected their ‘raffle prize’ ticket for a draw at the end… all her friends put Jocelyn’s name on the tickets… over 100 of them if I recall correctly so she could win a prize….These kids…her friends… are amazing… my wife and I were and still are truly moved by their caring gesture… A testament to the legacy of Terry Fox and a sign that there is hope for the future generation.

I would like to think that today’s ride was one of my best so far despite the shorter distance… the butt was feeling good (I’d say on a sandpaper grit scale it was an 80 instead of a 40…), the legs were strong and the pedal stroke technique I’m trying to master helped me to hold my own… Each day introduces new variables that can throw you off so I’ll chalk up today as a win and do my best for tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and your support!

Omar