Diagnosis motivates Saanich reserve constable to tackle ride

Saanich Police reserve constable will be among those taking part in 1,000-kilometre journey from Sept. 24 to Oct. 7

Saanich Police Const. Janis Carmena

When Joanne Bickford found out her lifelong friend’s three-year-old granddaughter Marley was diagnosed with leukemia, Bickford knew her time was now.

The Saanich Police reserve constable used the diagnosis as motivation and seized the opportunity to join the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock. She has a history of cycling, but it’s been a few years since she’s been in the saddle, she said.

“I was thinking about riding and that just solidified the reason to ride,” Bickford said.

Once she made the team, Bickford sent Marley’s grandmother a message on Facebook to let her know Marley was the reason Bickford decided to ride.

To make a long story short, Marley is one of Bickford’s two junior riders. And neither have cancer. Her other junior rider is Jayla, the younger sister of Kyra, who is battling cancer and is Const. Janis Carmena’s junior rider. And the recent news for Marley has Bickford over the moon.

“Marley had leukemia and she endured a successful bone marrow transplant, and is currently considered cured,” Bickford said. “She went through a 100-day stay in the hospital, and now her bone marrow transplant is complete, it is 100 per cent from someone else.”

Pediatric cancer, of course, is what Cops of Cancer is all about, Bickford said. But there’s a lot more to it.

The team of 14 riders will travel almost the full length of Vancouver Island, raising awareness and money to support the fight against childhood cancers, from Port Alice to Victoria, Sept. 24 to Oct. 7.

“The team is very close now,” Bickford said. “The team has riders from Port McNeil and Tofino, and you become close like a family, sharing the same experiences [while pursuing] the same goal of raising money for cancer research.”

For those who’ve visited Saanich’s municipal hall, Bickford has one of the most familiar faces. In addition to working as a reserve constable, she’s a 911 operator and works at the front desk at the Saanich Police station.

The team recently completed a five-day mock tour, including a 125-kilometre day in the middle, their biggest test to date.

On the fundraising front, Bickford has been very successful. She co-sponsored an event at the Prairie Inn that raised just over $9,000, and helped raise $4,000 at the Torque Masters Car Show in Sidney on Aug. 14.

She has set her sights on raising $20,000 to $25,000, and is hoping to make another jump forward when she co-hosts a Thrifty Foods barbecue on Sept. 17 at the Cloverdale location.

The money raised goes to Camp Goodtimes, the summer camp for children and teens, and their families, affected by cancer.

“Our team went and had a visit there back in July and it gives us great power to see the kids have so much fun, and that’s the reason we all ride,” said Bickford.

Bickford’s webpage for donations is tourderockjo.com.

– With files from Carlie Connolly

 

 

 

Just Posted

Lone wolf eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Hundreds of foreign species continue to wash along B.C. coast following Japanese tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather in downtown Victoria for Extinction Rebellion climate protest

The rally is the kickoff to the Global Climate Strike Week of Action

Church bells to ring for 11 minutes in support of Global Climate Strike

Each minute to signify years left to drastically reduce greenhouse gas pollution

Four charges approved in Saanich hit and run that left woman in coma

‘This was a significant crash that caused serious injuries,’ say police

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Most Read