When I rode the Tour de Rock in 2014, I met some inspiring children and their families who refused to let a cancer diagnosis define their lives. Now, as I take part in the 2020 Tour de Rock alumni ride, I'm thinking of the junior riders who are undergoing treatment, those in remission and those who lost their battle with cancer.
Their stories underscore the need for continued support for the Canadian Cancer Society, which funds leading-edge cancer research that is improving cancer treatments, saving lives and preventing the disease altogether. Money raised through the Tour de Rock also funds programs like Camp Goodtimes where kids can forget about their diagnosis and focus on being kids.
The smiling boy in the photo with me, Lucas Wetklo, was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer called clear cell sarcoma in 2011 when he was three-years-old.
After several rounds of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, doctors said the tumour was gone. The Nanaimo family thought life would return to normal. But two years after his first diagnosis, doctors discovered the cancer spread from his kidney to his cheekbone and his brain. The energetic, happy kid who loved toy police cars and Lego, died in 2015 at age seven. While survival rates for pediatric cancer are improving, there's still more work to do to make sure no child dies of cancer.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the 2020 Tour de Rock and limited opportunities for in-person fundraisers which is why pledging your support online is so important. So please give generously and help me reach my fundraising goal! Every donation shows families who have a child with cancer that they do not have to face it alone. Thanks for your support!