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Quintuple open heart surgery motivates Maple Ridge cyclist to ride for kids

Ron Paley is an avid hiker, kayaker, and biker.

It’s his love of the latter, combined with the 66-yaer-old’s keen interest in helping children battling with cancer that has him motivated him to be part of the Great Cycle Challenge this month.

“Why am I doing this? Because cancer is the largest killer of children from disease in Canada – four kids die every week. Kids should be living life, not fighting for it,” said Paley, who’s already completed 226 of his intended 500 kilometres in his effort to raise money for the Toronto-based Hospital for Sick Children Foundation.

He explained his motivation for doing this on Thursday, Aug. 13 – a day the charity has dubbed “Kick Cancer’s Butt Day,” and a day where all online donations are being matched by supports up to $1 million.

“Cancer has affected so many of our family members and some of them are no longer with us. When I read about this fundraiser to fight kids cancer, I knew I had a purpose to do this ride in remembrance of them,” he said.

RELATED: GoFundMe launched for Maple Ridge toddler battling cancer

“My goal is to ride 300 plus kilometres in the month of August,” Paley said, proud knowing every dollar he raises goes to the foundation. To date, he’s raised $3,000.

“I have had the chance to meet other riders through the website, to hear their stories, and why they too feel this is a wonderful way to give back. Every dollar helps a young child have a chance at a better life,” said Paley, who’s done a lot of his cycling – so far – back and forth over the Golden Ears Bridge and into Fort Langley and over to Surrey, into Port Coquitlam, and he’s cycled various routes around Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows since the beginning of the month.

The routes have ranged from 15 to 43 kilometres.

“I am privileged and challenged to ride 300 km or more in the month of August to help raise money to help our young kids fighting cancer,” he elaborated, even his 89-year-old father, Fred, donating $200 to the cause.

“I had a successful, life-saving quintuple open heart surgery operation 18 months ago,” Paley said.

IN THE NEWS IN PAST: Maple Ridge man plucked off mountain after a week

“I got a second chance. Now it’s my turn to give our young kids that same opportunity. Please help me successfully reach my goals… Thank you to all that have donated and followed my journey.”

Those wishing to learn more about his quest, or to consider donating, can visit his website.

“Life is precious. I know that firsthand,” Paley concluded.

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Roxanne Hooper

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Roxanne Hooper

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