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August 27th and 28th are the dates for this year’s edition of the Ride to Conquer Cancer – the 2-day, 320km bike ride from Vancouver to Seattle. I’m riding again, and I’m hoping you will support me again.
If you recall, last year the ride organizers moved the dates of the ride from the end of June to the end of August. The logic was that the late June weekend had been rainy for 5 out 6 previous years, so by moving the dates to late August, we were bound to get better weather, right? Um, not exactly. Last year – the first year the ride took place in August – we encountered the second coming of Hurricane Katrina: torrential rain, 140km/hr winds, flying tree branches, cartwheeling tents, downed trees and downed (live) powerlines. This year, I’m kinda hoping we go back to just rain again.
In each of the past 7 years, I have dedicated my ride to a few people close to me who have been fighting cancer. Sadly, there has never been a shortage of people to ride for. More sadly, many of those I have ridden for ultimately succumbed to this unrelenting disease. Bill Coons, the husband of Stevi’s aunt Michelle – the super-fit, multiple Ironman & Ultraman finisher who I rode for in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and who maintained the most incredible high spirits and sense of humour throughout his treatments – finally lost his fight on December 28th, 2015. Stevi’s mom, Faye, lost hers in May of last year. Stevi’s uncle Marc (and Michelle’s brother), lost his on December 28th, 2014 (crappy date, December 28th!). Rob Prem, Alje, Konrad, Dianna and Sindi are others I have ridden for who were also claimed by cancer. But sometimes we win; some of those I have ridden for – Lisa, Meghan, Katherine – have fought off their cancers, aided by the improved treatments your donations have helped finance. And even those who lost their fights had more time to spend with their loved ones thanks to your generosity.
Each of us has our own list of people to ride for or to donate for. Many of our lists overlap. Maddeningly, we all know that more of our friends and family will be added to our lists in the future. But that’s why I keep riding – and hope you’ll keep donating – so those on our lists today have more time and better odds of winning, and so as few names as possible are added to our lists in the years to come.
As we have for the past several years, Stevi and I will again match your donations dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 so that hopefully together we can reach at least $20,000 raised for cancer research via the BC Cancer Foundation. Whatever you can contribute – small or large – matters. It all counts. It all helps. It is all greatly appreciated (although it doesn’t seem to help the weather).
Thank you once again for your continued support.
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