In 2008 I was asked by my manager at the time if I would ride in an event called Tour for Kids Ontario. He said it was a 200km per day four day ride supporting kids cancer camps. I stopped listening and focused solely on the 800km I was contemplating committing to. Back then I was fairly new to cycling and don’t think I’d ridden more than 125km in a day, let alone 200km in four consecutive days. Going into that first T4K all I was thinking about was me and my challenges and issues. Then a funny thing happened. I quickly realised that this wasn’t about me, the bike, or looking good to my manager. It was about everyday Canadian kids living with cancer. It was about their brothers, sisters, cousins, and parents who are also affected by a child who has cancer. Quite frankly I was stunned by the impact childhood cancer has on everyone touched by it and my eyes were opened wide to the cause and needs of these kids and their families.
Fast forward to 2010 when I had the honour and privilege to participate in my first Sears National Kids Cancer ride. To this day I tell everyone who asks that SNKCR was “a game changer”. As a group of cyclists we brought awareness to the cause, raised significant funds, met and engaged with children living with cancer or the families for whom a child had been taken by cancer, and (I would like to think) inspired the Canadians we met to help do what they can for the cause. That experience, the lifelong friends I made, and the sense of accomplishment has stayed with me ever since. I continued to participate in Coast to Coast events including Tour for Kids Ontario, the Triple Crown in 2013, a four day mini-SNKCR (Thunder Bay to Toronto) also in 2013, and created my own event with my wife Erin: the SNCKR Alumni and Friends Charity Bonspiel.
When the opportunity to participate in the 2017 Sears National Kids Cancer ride as a member of The Chase team I knew immediately it was something I wanted to do. So, here I am again, getting ready to ride across Canada, raise funds for the cause, and listen and learn from those whose lives are affected daily by childhood cancer.