Be inspired by Kevin Cameron
Kevin Cameron, 47, was diagnosed with Stage IV Cancer of the head and neck in July 2010. His only hope for survival was aggressive chemo and radiation therapy, so he immediately began treatment at Fraser Valley Centre, one of the five full service centres of BC Cancer Agency, which receives funds raised from The Ride.
Over a year after his treatments, Kevin’s health is improving, and he has a good chance of fully re-gaining his health.
Like all BC Riders, Kevin is now working tirelessly to raise critical funds more than ever for The BC Cancer Agency through The Ride so other British Columbians have access to the life-saving treatment & care he received.
“The funds we raise will save lives of British Columbians, just like they helped saved me. I stand behind the BC Cancer Agency and I fully support The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer here in BC. Without their efforts, I’m not sure I’d be here today.”
Kevin Cameron, Captain of the Team Motley Crew
Be inspired by Naho Harada
Despite being only 25, Naho Harada has felt the pain of cancer.
The first time was in the high school when her headmaster passed away with brain cancer. She went to a small international school in Malaysia. The headmaster had a very important role in students’ life there - he would spend a lot of time with them, always having a kind word of reassurance or smile. His death was a huge blow for everyone in the school.
The second time it was her grandmother who, in the end, survived the lung cancer. The thought of devastation of illness and possibility of survival lingered in Naho’s mind, and she started seeking the right opportunity to get involved in the fight.
She discovered the Ride in 2009. The event was so much more than expected. Experiencing that everyone was there for the same cause triggered a chain of memories and filled her with pride.
After crossing the finish line, the hardest part was putting her bike away. She rode again in 2010 and is registered for 2011.
Naho is recent graduate, not a corporate titan. She doesn’t have a well-established network of business contacts. But, she is smart, skilled and passionate.
To raise funds, Naho sold hot-dogs, used Facebook, contacted her mother’s friends, approached her employer, and talked about the Ride. Thus, in the journey to raise funds, she did more.
The Ride allowed Naho to raise awareness about the fight against cancer and eviscerated a few stereotypes about apathy amongst young people and what sort of income you need to really contribute in the fight against cancer - along the way, too.
What kind of platform could The Ride be for you?
Be Inspired by Matt Wilcott
On the outside, Matt Wilcott’s family looks like a typical Canadian family. They’re fun, engaging, and friendly. Even if daily responsibilities keep them apart, they still get together to celebrate happy moments and to support each other in sad ones. Also, like a number of Canadian families, Matt’s family experienced the devastation of cancer more than once.
At 14, Matt saw his grandfather loosing a battle with lung cancer; some time later, he lost his grandmother to multiple cancers. The sadness and defeat, experienced in those tender years, made a lasting impression on him. He knew that if he ever had a chance to join the fight against cancer, he wouldn’t think twice.
He was pleased, many years later, to discover the Ride.
Matt signed up for his first ride in 2010. Putting his entrepreneurial spirit to work, he raised $ 8000 in a short time. Being registered as an individual rider, he never expected that from the start line, he would breathe, sweat and move as a part of the group, alongside more than 2000 people.
The feeling he had as a part of that determined crowd was the exact opposite of the inability to help his grandparents: he knew that change is possible. The finish line was not the end of the Matt’s journey to conquer cancer only the first part of it. He registered for the 2011 Ride immediately.
Matt’s wife, Kyley, registered for the 2011 Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer a week later. Before that, she had never owned a bike, and had forgotten the last time she rode. Now they train and fundraise together. As befits its namesake, their team, Chain Reaction, grew quickly.
What started as a two person group grew fast to include Kyley’s twin sister, her brother, Matt’s brother and other cousins. Today the team is 26 strong. It includes family members of cancer survivors and athletes, skilled fundraisers and drivers of change. From selling Canucks tickets to preparing caramel corn for farmer’s markets, to assembling bracelets, to raising money through personal contacts, they are getting closer to their fundraising goal every day.
All it takes is the courage to take that first step and register. After that, you might be surprised by what sorts of “chain reactions” occur.
Be Inspired by Eamonn Conrad
Eamonn Conrad was 26 when he was diagnosed with a type of cancer called Ewings sarcoma in January 2011. He had just moved to Vancouver from Halifax, NS and started a new job at the UBC Chemistry department. In the eight months of therapy to follow, Eamonn had three surgeries, 42 rounds of chemo and 35 radiation treatments.
It was in the midst of a chemo therapy at the BC Cancer Agency that Eamonn heard about the Ride from the hospital nursing staff. He signed up in July 2011 and, between therapy sessions, started riding his bike and training for the 2012 Ride. He completed the 2012 Ride alongside his wife Sara.
“I can honestly say I owe my life to the BC Cancer Agency. The surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, nurses and support staff have been nothing short of amazing, and knowledgeable through this whole thing. Participating in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer is my way of saying thanks to everyone involved.” said Conrad.
Eamonn is documenting his experience with cancer on his personal blog; this post describes what he does to give back to the organization that saved his life: http://eamonnconquercancer.blogspot.ca/2012/11/giving-back.html
Be Inspired by Julius Spavor
Julius Spavor from Nakusp, a small town in the BC Interior, had his first encounter with cancer was when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 and passed away a year later.
Only four years later, Julius embarked on what was going to be a decade long fight with cancer: he was diagnosed with a vocal cord tumour. A month later, he had a surgery at the St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver when his lung collapsed and the surgery had to be aborted. Julius ended up on the life support for a short time. When he regained strength, the surgery was repeated, and it was successful this time.
Julius was feeling better and life went back to normal until 2007 when he felt a severe pain in his rib cage. The fracture of a rib led to a new diagnosis this time, tumours spread on his ribs. Shortly after this diagnosis, he had a stem cell transplant at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. A few healthy years followed but in 2010, more tumours were found on his ribs and another week of radiation ensued.
Since then, Julius has been fairly healthy and he regularly goes out for a long rides with his bike. So, when his friend Didace told him about the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer and it’s second largest team the Brainiacs - Julius didn’t think twice about registering. He is looking forward to the challenge of cycling 200 km over two days and raising funds for the research and care that saved his life.
“Today, I continue to ride my bike whenever possible. I log every ride on my workout calendar with some of my best months being 500km. Riding is my passion. I'm riding in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer to overcome the struggle that cancer has put upon me and to support the cancer research that made a difference in my life,” explained Spavor.
Be Inspired by Nadia Gale
Nadia Gale is the fifth year captain of the Team OvCaRe, the team that raises funds for ovarian cancer research at the BC Cancer Agency. Nadia also works for the OvCaRe, a leader in ovarian cancer research, breaking new ground in improving the identification, understanding, and treatment of this disease.
Nadia has been a fervent advocate for funding of cancer research for years: she has helped her team raise $250,000 for ovarian cancer research in four years. An avid cyclist and a natural community builder, Nadia organizes training rides for her team and other local cycling enthusiasts throughout the year.
Nadia is writing about her Ride preparations, as well as yoga and cycling adventures on her blog: http://nadiagale.blogspot.ca/.
“I ask everyone to join me in the fight to end the suffering caused by ovarian cancer. I have witnessed first hand how the Ride fundraising dollars have made a difference in the lives of ovarian cancer patients in this province," explained Gale. "Every dollar donated to the Ride is not only changing the story of cancer but completely rewriting it!”