Hi! I'm Simon Douthwaite and I am riding in the Cops 4 Cancer Tour de Rock 2019 to help kids fight cancer. I am honoured to be a guest rider on the tour as the father of 2 Junior riders, Sophie, aged 8, and Chelsea, aged 7, and also to represent my 2 other wonderful Junior riders, Chloe, 8 and Carter, 10.
On the 5th of August 2014 the doctors told my wife, Angie and I, that our beautiful little Chelsea had Leukemia. She was just a week short of her 3rd birthday. Our worlds changed in that moment, forever. Chelsea endured almost 3 years of chemotherapy, often directly into her heart or through her spinal column into her brain, and fought through several crises and surgeries, including life threatening infections. All those toddler years were taken away from her by cancer.
Thankfully, today she is a happy, healthy 7 year old girl, full of fun and just a super kid. She still suffers some effects from the chemo damage to her nerves, but even that is slowly recovering - last summer she rode her bike for the first time! We are lucky she is such a good natured, positive, happy little girl - even in the really hard parts she tried her best to have a smile for us. We did most of the crying for her.
Chloe was just 6 when she was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor - a cancerous tumor in her kidney. She had her kidney removed and faced long months of chemotherapy. Happily she is now a beautiful, fun, thriving 8 year old girl and I am proud to represent her this year.
We will be riding about 4,500 km in training, 3 days a week for 7 months, and the Tour itself is around 1,100 km. It is our opportunity as a family to give back - we feel blessed to have received so much support ourselves. Vancouver Island is a wonderful place - my wife grew up here - we felt such a level of community support and it's hard to express our gratitude. When the Tour rode into Chelsea's school, she was still having chemo, and I will never in my whole life forget the feeling I had as the sirens sounded the rider's arrival. Such an amazing feeling of support - that people really cared. Happy tears. That is why I am riding this year. To help change the future in our own small way.
The funds raised go 80% to pediatric cancer research ( Leukemia used be almost 100% fatal - this research is unbelievably important ) and 20% to Camp Goodtimes - a truly wonderful retreat for kids suffering cancer to just be normal kids for a few days... the cost of the Tour is just 17 cents on the dollar, which is really, really good too.
Every single donation counts, and we are so very grateful to you all.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!
Simon, Angie, Sophie and Chelsea