A Kamloops man is going above and beyond to support the Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund, which supports canine cancer research, by cycling hundreds of kilometres to and from the Cariboo.
Derek Dixon stopped in Quesnel on Thursday, Aug. 11, before continuing a short distance to Eromit AIRcademy, where the top dogs in Western Canada will compete in several dock diving events from Aug. 12-14.
Eromit AIRcademy, where Dixon and his wife purchased their two black Labrador Retrievers, is also supporting the Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund with a raffle and fundraiser over the weekend.
“Unfortunately, dog cancer is a prevalent thing, especially amongst our dog community, and I just thought this was another way to reach out and maybe get some people that could donate that wouldn’t be at the event itself,” Dixon said.
“It’s worked out quite well.”
Dixon launched his fundraiser on GoFundMe and has raised more than $3,000.
He began his bike ride from Kamloops on Wednesday, Aug. 10, where he journeyed across Highway 24 to 100 Mile House. The following day, he cycled to Quesnel with his wife passing him at Kersley in a vehicle with their dogs Ember, 8, and Vino, 6.
This is Dixon’s first time travelling to Quesnel on a bike. He typically comes up three times a year for canine dock diving events in which their dogs compete.
While Dixon has been fortunate not to have any of his four-legged friends touched by cancer, he said the same cannot be said for dogs belonging to his mother and brother.
“I don’t have any kids,” Dixon said. “My dogs are my kids, so it’s important to me, and hopefully, this will help a lot of people in the end.”
Dixon will remain in Quesnel for the next few days for the Western Cup Challenge at Eromit AIRcademy before cycling back to Kamloops.
Once home, he will have cycled more than 800 kilometres.
”I probably would do it again,” he said. “We’ll see. Maybe somebody else wants to join me next time—you never know.”
To support Dixon’s big ride to take a bite out of dog cancer, visit his GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/smiling-blue-skies-cancer-fund.
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