The Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock is Vancouver Island’s number one fundraising event, raising over $1 million each year and $23 million in the past 20 years. Each year a team of 24 police officers, special guests and media ride through the 27 communities on Vancouver Island raising money to help kids with cancer. We cover near 5000 kms of training time from April to the end of September. Our Tour starts September 22nd and ends on October 5th, covering 1100 kms of Vancouver Island. Our cost to raise a dollar is a mere 17 cents which allows us to send over 400 kids to Camp Goodtimes and support Pediatric Cancer research.
I am extremely excited to be a part of this journey for many reasons. One of them is the connection I have to the cause. Each year every rider is assigned a junior rider. My junior rider is a family friend named Alex. Alex is 5 years old. Until the end of April 2016, Alex was a completely healthy and thriving little boy. Within a week he went from the soccer field to being airlifted to the intensive care unit at BC Children’s Hospital. On April 23rd, 2016 Alex spent two weeks fighting for his life. He was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). From there, Alex was moved to the Oncology ward where he received treatment for several months. Alex is now 6 months in remission and doing well. I have known Alex and his family for a number of years and I have seen their struggles. His brother Evan and my son Gray are best friends. The fact that Alex is happy and thriving again is a huge motivation for me. This is one of the main reasons I RIDE!
I have been very lucky to grow up on Vancouver Island and on the Saanich Peninsula. My wife Emily and I live in Deep Cove and have two children;. Austyn our 10 year old daughter and our 8 year old son Gray. I have worked for The Victoria Airport Authority Fire Service as a Firefighter for the past 10 years. I was a volunteer for 15 years at Sidney Fire Rescue and I am now a life member.
For years as a firefighter I met many families dealing with Muscular Dystrophy, a cause that my profession has been behind in fundraising for a number of years. These fundraising efforts and the impact they can have made a strong impression on me. My eyes were opened to just how many kids are in need and how we can make a difference. Since that time I have gone on to help with Team For Hope and their Touch A Truck Fundraiser. These women do an incredible job fundraising for early childhood cancer. They motivated me to get involved.
Cancer has also hit me close to home. My mother in law has battled two different cancers at two different times and beat it. My wife has also been diagnosed with skin cancer in the past few years but luckily it has been caught early and dealt with.
A couple of years ago at my work place we lost a great young man to cancer, his memorial sits in front of the Firehall for us all to remember him by.
Last year another Tour rider, Chris Day (a fellow firefighter), and I were training together on the Human Powered Racing triathlon team. I was able to follow Chris’ journey closely and I was very interested in his experience. After giving it some thought I decided I would “try out” for the team in 2018.
I was grateful to be selected to ride in 2018 and I am excited to have all of my fundraising teams behind me and supporting our cause.