We awoke early this morning and headed to the mess hall at the RCMP Academy for an amazing breakfast with hundreds of uniformed RCMP cadets. We met some of the senior ranking officers for a photo op, and they presented us with a donation cheque. Then it was back to the camp site to prepare ourselves for the ride.
We were honoured this morning to meet Thomas Fahlman, a very well spoken CTCAC Ambassador from Regina who was diagnosed with Metastatic Ewing’s Sarcoma when he was 15 years old. He had a large tumour, from hip to knee, in his left leg, three small tumours in his right thigh and one at the base of his spine. His treatment included 14 rounds of chemo and 31 doses of radiation, then a stem cell transplant. The cancer treatment was brutal, stealing his teenage years. He relapsed, then was treated with 3 more rounds of chemo and almost died. His outlook was very grim and in May 2011 he was referred to palliative care, restricted to a wheelchair, and given six months to live. After being referred to Sick Kids in Toronto, a different protocol was tried with successful results, and he has now been cancer free for seven years, although the side effects of cancer and it’s treatments will never be out of his life.
Tom first met the NKCR team in Regina when he was being treated. He and his family come out every year to say thanks and cheer us on. Today we will ride for Thomas.
Our two teams rode together today, riding through downtown Regina and then south east. The rain started once we left the city limits and never stopped all today. The temperature was in the single digits and the strong winds were in our face. We stopped at the side of the road to get our rain gear on, then tried to get ourselves organized on the road to work effectively as a team. By the time we made our first stop in Sedley, we were all soaked to the bone and shivering. We visited the Sedley School where we met with the students to tell them about children’s cancer and the purpose of our ride.
It was still pouring rain, and we were behind schedule, so we loaded the bikes into the cube van and shuttled by RV down the road towards our lunch stop. We rode the final 13 km. into Fillmore, where we stopped at the 33 Central School, to meet with the students and have lunch. With the weather still awful and some obvious safety concerns, we decided to pack in the riding for the day and shuttle to our dinner location in Carlyle, at the home of a former NKCR volunteer, who have hosted our group many times over the years. Our moving caravan of about 40 riders and volunteers were treated to a fabulous buffet dinner before heading back on the road to our final destination of the day – Glenboro, Manitoba.
The travelling roadshow that is the 2019 NKCR will pick up in the morning…can’t wait!