National Kids Cancer Ride

NKCR Day 10 – Marathon to Wawa

Friday the 13th turned out to be unlucky for us as we awoke in Marathon to pouring rain, which had been pounding on the metal roof of our travelling dormitory (a 53’ long x 8’ wide transport trailer with bunk beds for 20 people) most of the night. 

With our morning itinerary scuttled by the inclement weather, we commandeered the (not big enough for us) dining room of a local motel for breakfast. Our cooking crew, Jeff and Fiona, had prepared a breakfast feast for us of smoked ham, sausages, egg frittata and fresh fruit that was laid out for our own buffet. 

The miserable and unsafe riding conditions underpinned our decision to shuttle down the road towards Wawa. We stopped at White River, home of Winnie the Pooh, for lunch at the community centre. It was then decided we would proceed by RV to Wawa and perhaps get on our bikes if the teeming rain subsided. 

Before leaving White River, we did our daily dedication. 

From a very young age, Caleb displayed a strong will, feisty attitude, unbreakable spirit and unwavering courage. He could melt hearts with his sparkling blue eyes, his beautiful smile and his charming personality. On his third birthday, he was diagnosed with Stage IV, ‘High Risk’ Neuroblastoma – a relatively rare and aggressive cancer that developed from the nerve cells in his adrenal gland, and metastasized to multiple sites on his body. With treatment, Caleb would have a 50% chance of survival. Tragically, eight months into treatment, doctors discovered a new cancerous growth in the bone of his leg. From this point on, treatment would be considered “palliative care”, as there is no known cure for relapsed neuroblastoma. On March 24, 2015, one year after his courageous and valiant fight began, and just four weeks before his fourth birthday, Caleb’s pain and suffering came to an end. So today, we will ride for Caleb.

After a quick stop at the Wawa visitor centre and a group photo under the giant flying goose, we changed and got on our bikes for a short 30k recovery ride in the light rain, along a beautiful winding road with nothing but trees, lakes and rock outcroppings. While we were disappointed to have missed the Marathon to Wawa ride, a day of rest will probably prove valuable to our legs over the days ahead.  

We showered at the community centre in Wawa and were provided with a fabulous dinner of spaghetti and meat balls by the local Rotary Club. We are now en route to Blind River along a stunningly beautiful road skirting the north shore of Lake Superior and the sun is peaking at us intermittently through the clouds…hopefully the weather gods will be kind to us tomorrow!