What happens when you fill an entire gym with stationary bikes? The answer: you raise a lot of money for kids suffering from cancer.
Teams of six joined together for a good cause to peddle as far as they possible could Monday night at the Northern Sport Centre. The Inside Ride event put on by the Coast To Coast Against Cancer Foundation raised $21,524 for Camp Goodtimes – a camp specifically for kids with cancer.
Among those in attendance Monday was 16 year old, Olivia Davis. The Northern Capitals player was diagnosed with cancer when she was 13 and just received her last cancer treatment in April. She says Camp Goodtimes gave her a new perspective on life. “I got to feel like cancer wasn’t in my life anymore and I felt welcomed and I felt like everyone understood me, so yea I’m very thankful to be at this fundraiser,” she said.” “I used hockey as something to push me to get better and now I’m here playing Triple A hockey even though I just finished treatment five months ago.”
Event Manager for The Inside Ride, Jenn Davies says all of the money will continue to help local kids go to the camp to get away hospital rooms. “They end up knowing more about IVs and treatment protocols than they do about going outside and playing with their friends, so really the camp gives them an opportunity to just be kids, not kids with cancer.”
It’s especially moving for kids like 16 year old Jacob McLeod. With a Desmoid Tumour in his leg, only 0.003 per cent of the world population receive such a diagnosis. That didn’t stop him from fighting back. “I had a surgery to remove the tumour for the time being and as of right now, it’s still tumour free and hopefully it stays like that for a lot longer.”
Now for the first time since getting better, McLeod was back on the bike Monday, cycling with a strong leg. “It means a lot because it means I can be out here and be pro-active and helping get more awareness out there, it’s just an overall great experience.”
However, it wasn’t just the kids getting in on the fun. Some people dressed up in funky dresses, while others decided to make it more of a formal affair wearing dress shirts and ties during the ride. At the end of the day, Davies says it’s all worth it to have some fun and bring awareness to cancer research as well. “Advancements in research around kids cancer make a difference in research in treatment outcomes for adults, the reverse is not necessarily true,” she said. “Kids cancer is incredibly underfunded in Canada and that’s a gap that we try to fill.”