The Schmelter family has raised more than $100,000 over five years for the BC Lung Association. (Submitted photo)

Weekend bike trek for BC Lung a tradition for Chilliwack family

Family team, Blood Sweat & Gears, has raised more than $100,000 for lung research

  • Jul. 7, 2019 7:00 a.m.

Every year, for the past five years, mom and daughter Karen and Leah’s summer has culminated with an annual two-day cycling weekend. They train for the BC Lung Association’s annual Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath (Trek) throughout the spring and summer months.

And for the past two years, the event has turned into an even bigger family ritual, with Karen’s husband Fred, and Leah’s husband Ben joining in on the fun, too.

“Karen, Fred, Leah and Ben participate together with a Trek team called Blood, Sweat & Gears, who have raised well over $100,000 in support of vital lung health research, education and patient support programs over the years. We’re extraordinarily grateful for their continuing support,” says Marissa McFadyen, events manager for the BC Lung Association.

Part fundraiser, part weekend getaway, Trek is a fully supported, two-day, 200km ride from Fort Langley to Cultus Lake and back. Participants do the distance, and in return the BC Lung Association delivers a seamless weekend experience including all meals, lakeside lodge accommodation, gear transport, medical and mechanical support, evening entertainment, and even a commemorative Trek 2019 t-shirt.

According to the Lung Association, one in five British Columbians are affected by a lung or breathing condition. The most common condition in B.C. is asthma, affecting as many as 10 per cent of children and adults. The next is COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) which affects another six per cent of people aged 45 or older, and following COPD is sleep apnea, or sleep-disordered breathing, affecting another two to four per cent of adult men and women.

Add to that the tens of thousands of British Columbians diagnosed every year with lung cancer, afflicted by a fatal condition of the lungs called pulmonary fibrosis, or born with a life-shortening genetic condition called cystic fibrosis. While treatment exists to control and slow down the progression of these conditions, none are currently curable.

Finally, the Lung Association says, there are tens of thousands impacted every year by airborne infectious diseases such as influenza and pneumonia or worse, the increasingly antibiotic-resistant bacterial killer tuberculosis (TB).

“It is thanks to advances in research and immunization efforts, these infectious diseases remain well controlled in Canada – at least for the time being,” says McFadyen. “And our Trek fundraisers and supporters are helping ensure it stays that way.”

To participate in the event, each Trekker is required to pay a $25 registration fee and fundraise a minimum of $650 in donations. Together Trekkers have raised more than $7 million since the event began some 35 years ago.

“I love seeing all the riders – young, old, seasoned veterans – listening to their stories, sharing the experience, enjoying the food. Everyone is so positive and welcoming,” said Karen Schmelter. “Trek is truly a great weekend – and at the same time a chance to make a difference in the lives of others. I look forward to catching up with all my Trek friends every September – as well as making new ones!”

To learn more and register, visit bicycletrek.ca. Questions? Email info@bicycletrek.ca or call the Events Team at the BC Lung Association toll-free at 1-800-665-5864.

To make a donation in support of the Schmelters, or their daughter Leah and her husband Ben Vegt, visit bicycletrek.ca, click donate and search them by name.


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Katzie paddled together in honour of a fallen family member

More than 30 members of the Katzie First Nation reserve took part in the canoeing event

Money in to finish Lougheed Highway twinning

$29 million to complete four laning of four-kilometre stretch in Maple Ridge, but no start date

Campers expect 100 per cent online reservations at Golden Ears next season

Maple Ridge group has been fighting to keep drive in bookings

Maple Ridge council will be asked to declare climate emergency

Vancouver, London and Los Angeles have already done so

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Most Read