The 21st annual Cops for Cancer Tour de North riders who will travel from Dawson Creek to Williams Lake in September are already training as they face the seven-day trek where they will travel the 850 km together on bicycles.
There are 22 RCMP members, first responders and community riders joining the effort to raise funds for life-saving research to combat childhood cancer and support essential programs like Camp Goodtimes.
On Friday morning with the wind blowing and the rain coming down in smatterings the group trained as they will often do to get ready for the week-long ride that goes from Sept. 14 to 20 and sees one day scheduled for a 195 km ride.
Let’s hope it’s all down hill.
Stacey Osiowy, 45, Prince George resident, has a very special reason she’s riding.
“Two years ago my cousins lost their baby girl at the age of two to cancer,” Osiowy said. “She had a rare form of leukemia and was in Children’s Hospital for seven months so for me I am riding in honour of Jia and my family so it’s a really personal ride for me. Training is going to be hard but it’s not hard compared to what families who are experiencing this are going through so we’re really grateful for the opportunity to do this for them.”
Robert Warren, 29, is the only other Prince George rider participating in the Tour de North along with Osiowy.
"It's a great honour to ride for the children and it's just a really great cause," Warren said.
In the last two decades progress has been made thanks to advancements in cancer research funded by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and events like Cops for Cancer.
Right now more than 84 per cent of children diagnosed with cancer will survive at least five years past diagnosis. Research has led to new and more effective treatments for childhood cancers and an increase in the number of children who survive into adulthood. CCS is the largest national charitable funder of childhood cancer research in Canada.
“This is my third year participating in Cops for Cancer Tour de North,” Cst. Harry Dhaliwal from Houston RCMP, said. “And it’s been a remarkable experience. It’s such an honour to raise money to fund pediatric cancer research and allow kids to just be kids at Camp Goodtimes. We can’t wait to be back on the road and visiting our amazing Tour de North supporters across Northern BC.”
To get a head start on donations people can check out the team and get more information about the local fundraising effort at tourdenorth.ca.