Now rolling into its 25th year, the Cops for Cancer Tour de Coast will be biking into Maple Ridge on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 1:30 p.m.
The annual Cops for Cancer fundraiser sees law enforcement and emergency services personnel across Canada raise money for childhood cancer research and support services through the Canadian Cancer Society.
There are four different tours in B.C., and the local Tour de Coast riders will cycle more than 800 km across the coastline and through Greater Vancouver from Sept. 21 to 29.
By Sept. 20 the Tour de Coast had already raised more than $405,000 of its $600,000 fundraising goal.
One of the top teams is RCMP Ridge Meadows, which had already raised more than $8,100 – beating their $6,000 target.
The two riders from the local detachment are Const. Jordan Shields and Cpl. Peter Westra, are volunteering their personal time to get involved.
“This is the second year I have participated in the ride. Last year’s event was limited to five days due to pandemic restrictions and I know I have more to give,” said Shields.
“Cancer seems to be something that touches everyone; my own life being impacted when I was just 10 years old and my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I admit those were scary times but I am happy to share my mom survived her battle with cancer,” he added. “I also recognize not every family is this lucky as I also lost a friend to cancer.
“I know that I will be challenged personally on the ride as it is a grueling amount of time on the bike, but this is nothing compared to what cancer patients endure and, when I finish, I will have had the opportunity to interact with schools, business and communities for an amazing cause. Together, we can beat this.”
Cancer has also hit close to home for Westra, who had considered joining the Cops for Cancer ride earlier.
“After losing my brother-in-law, Dave to a long courageous battle with cancer in May of 2021, it solidified my resolve. I had to participate,” he said. “Dave wasn’t just my brother in law, he was also my university soccer coach. And he was my friend. I miss him and the conversations we used to have. I will always cherish those moments.
“After the decision was made to join the ride this year, I received the devastating news that my father had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. This fortified in my mind that the ride, and any cancer research we can support, is one way I can contribute in assisting others in their cancer journey,” Westra added.
“I will think of Dave, and my Dad, to help get me to the finish line. It’s the least I can do.”
They noted 80 per cent off the money raised will go to research, and the balance a Camp Goodtimes – an oncology camp located in Maple Ridge. The camp is an escape for children and their families who are living with a cancer diagnosis.
To support the Ridge Meadows Cops for Cancer riders see support.cancer.ca
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