It’s no secret that cancer has touched all of us in one way or another. When it’s a mother or father, aunt or uncle, grandparents, friend of a friend, we are sorry to hear it and are hopeful for a full recovery.
Unfortunately, sometimes the full recovery does not happen and that person is taken from this world. With no disrespect, we often hear, “well they got to do a lot and had a good life”, but in the case of a child being diagnosed with cancer, that is not the case and far from it! Their childhood is drastically changed in a lot of cases and in the worst case, they will not ever experience being a child, teenager or life itself.
I am a very fortunate father that has a healthy 19 year old son, who’s beginning was a bit rocky.
Emergency C section and weighing in at 2 pounds, lungs functioning, stomach not formed and ready for feeds. He had a month long stay in the NICU labeled a grower, but other newborns weren’t as lucky as my son. The fight and battles to live I witnessed by babies, hours, days, weeks and months old during the month’s stay, has never left my mind!
One other thing that happened during my son’s stay in the NICU at KGH hospital – I was handed an envelope from a NICU representative to help offset some costs for not being from Kingston. I tried to refuse but they would not take no for an answer. I was told that they had a small fund to use at their discretion to try and help families from out of town. As you see, I have not forgotten their generosity and somehow I was going to do my part to give back!
Being a Sears National Rider gives me the opportunity to give back to KGH because it is one of the 17 pediactric oncology hospitals across Canada, where 100% of every donated dollar to The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride supports those hospitals.
I have lost numerous family members and friends to this horrific disease. So in their memory and to help support Cancer research and care giving, I participated in 3 cancer weekend rides from Toronto to Niagara Falls: 2009 being my first, then in 2010 and 2014.
I was walking through the Kingston mall in 2009 just a few weeks before I was to do my Cancer Ride, when I came across an inside ride being set up. I asked the lady that was helping what this was for. She explained that it was the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride and that her child was diagnosed with leukaemia and that her husband, who had never rode a bike, was cycling across Canada for their child and the 10,000 across the country.
Needless to say, I was deeply touched by her story and completely inspired by the journey her husband was about to begin. It made me think about my son, my sister’s children, relatives and friend’s children (the what if) and it wasn’t sitting well with me and the wheels were spinning in my head to help. I followed the journey of the National Ride that year and then talking to my sister I found out that the lady and her husband from the mall were the parents of the daughter who she was teaching in grade 1 in 2009. Now there was a name to one of the most passionate and inspiring men I know (Ken Cross) and I knew a friendship was soon to form and hopefully a teammate in one of the years to come.
In 2010, I signed up for a relay ride from Kingston to Ottawa, shoulder to shoulder with Ken Cross and the National team. Inspired by such passionate people and their reasons for participating and they were the same reasons that were pumping through my heart and the tears down my face.
In October of 2012, I sat across from a surgeon explaining sentinel mapping, removal of limp-nodes, more margins from the melanoma tumour previously removed and radiation. Listening to those words and explanations why, was very hard to hear what was in store for me.
I CANNOT imagine what it would have been like to be told my son has cancer and this is where we go from here.
I’m riding so that eventually a child or parent never hears those words (your child has cancer)
I’m riding for the kids and their families!! I want every child, including your children’s children to not be burdened by this horrible disease.
I’m riding to reduce that number of 10,000 children living with cancer to “0”.
We all try to invest for our own future. How about giving a little to invest in the future of the world? Because the future of the world is the CHILDREN!
Please help make a difference by donating and let’s rid the world of childhood cancer for good!
It’s a long road…
But the children are worth it!!