After seven days and more than 800 kilometres, riders in the 2014 Cops for Cancer Tour de North rolled into Prince Rupert on Thursday to celebrate the end of another successful campaign.
A total of 25 riders started the tour, with 19 completing the grueling ride from Prince George to Prince Rupert. Along the way the participants visited communities along the highway and raised more than $200,000 for pediatric cancer research and Camp GoodTimes, which allows young people battling cancer to enjoy the summer camp experience.
It’s a cause that has affected almost everybody in some way, but one that hit particularly close to home for Prince Rupert rider Cpl Jennifer Collins.
“Yesterday I lost a friend who died of cancer, so it has been a very rough few days for me. But I also met a little girl yesterday that is seven years old, just like [my daughter] Olivia, who has cancer and that is why we ride,” an emotional Collins told those gathered to meet the riders at Northland Terminal.
“It really brought it home yesterday with my friend dying and then meeting this little girl about why we are here.”
Cpl. Collins was joined on the tour for the second time by her father and former Prince Rupert Inspector Bob Killbery. The two raised approximately $11,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society through their efforts, something Killbery said they were happy to do.
“We have had the opportunity to meet kids that are dealing with cancer and families that are dealing with cancer and it certainly drives home the reason why we do it,” he said, adding that this tour was different than the previous ride in 2012.
“I think this one was harder because we had a lot more experienced riders this time and the pace of the riding was much faster. Every day we were ahead of schedule.”
During the welcoming event, Olivia also donated to the cause by having nine-inches of her hair cut off to help make wigs for children battling cancer while Frank Siegrist raised $500 to have his head shaved and donated the hair to make wigs. Along with donations of hair, Northern Savings Credit Union presented riders with a cheque for $1,200 while Murray Smith presented a cheque for $200 from the Kaien Island Elders.