Far too many of us have felt the sting caused by cancer. It can leave feelings of fear and anger. But 17 brave cyclists are reminding us we don’t have to feel helpless or hopeless – the Tour de Rock is rolling through Saanich this week.
The annual Cops for Cancer fundraiser ride started Sept. 24 in Port Alice on its 1,000-kilometre journey to raise funds and lift hopes. The riders, including Saanich Police Const. Janis Carmena and reserve Const. Joanne Bickford, are making their way down the Malahat today, before rolling into Victoria and Saanich for a number of stops on Thursday and Friday.
The Tour de Rock has made a difference and will continue to make a difference. Since 1998, the initiative has raised $21 million for pediatric cancer research and support programs for cancer patients.
The Tour de Rock has developed a strong connection with Vancouver Island communities, among the police officers who ride, those of us who support them, and all the various cancer agencies and volunteers and friends of the tour. The police and those they serve have a better relationship here, we think, in part because of the tour, because it unites us in a common cause.
But those pushing their stamina to the limits on the gruelling ride aren’t the only ones making a difference. Students across Saanich have rallied to the cause, holding head-shaves and other fundraising events to support the fight against cancer.
There are plenty of chances for Saanich residents to cheer on the riders. The tour will visit a number of Saanich schools on Thursday and Friday, with other stops Friday planned for Tillicum Shopping Centre at 11:07 a.m., as well as Broadmead Village at 11:54 p.m. Times are approximate as the schedule could be delayed.
We encourage everyone to get involved and join in the support for the cause. The ultimate goal of curing cancer may still be a long way off. And a 1,000-kilometre bike ride won’t bring us there, but it brings us closer.