After pedalling 850 kilometres and raising $20,000 plus, it was the children fighting cancer they met along the way that impressed the Cops for Cancer riders from Williams Lake the most.
“There were a lot of emotions along the way,” said Williams Lake RCMP officer Colby Hendrickson during a welcoming reception at Canadian Tire Monday evening. “We got to meet a lot of kids that cancer has hit home with and they’ve struggled with it for years and years … we all have those memories that we developed on this ride and it makes it very personal for us.”
Describing the seven-day ride as gruelling, Const. Dan Cohen said one day there were 10 blown tires and it was a torrential downpour the whole day.
“We had our support crew doing all that work for us, all we had to do was ride,” Cohen said.
Welcoming the riders to the Williams Lake Indian Band traditional territory, band councillor Heather McKenzie thanked them for their efforts.
“Your ride Cops for Cancer brings meaningful hope to the lives of children battling cancer and their families,” McKenzie said.
Canadian Cancer Society community giving co-ordinator Erin Reynolds said initially fundraising is hard, but it’s easy to understand why people would want to give money to help a child fighting cancer.
Nine-year-old cancer survivor Chase Lamont of Williams Lake is one of nine children the ride was dedicated to.
As Shanna Stangoe stood with her hand on Chase’s shoulder, she said her son was diagnosed with liver cancer three years ago and endured six months of chemotherapy, followed by major surgery to remove his tumour.
“Thankfully he has recovered and is doing really well,” Shanna said as she thanked everyone. “Although Chase is a success story there are many who have lost the battle to this horrible disease. Many we have met along the way are no longer with us.”
Reynolds said there are four tours in the province right now and together they will raise more than $200,000.
“When people ask us why we keep going we say we can’t stop. There are over 200 types of cancer and we haven’t found all the cures.”