Prince Rupert’s three Tour de North riders raised more then $12,000 for children’s cancer research and biked an epic 850 kilometres over seven days. They left from Dawson Creek on Sept. 14, and arrived at their final stop, Williams Lake, on Sept. 20.
Nathan Hokazono, from the P.R. RCMP, and Glen Kirkland and Kelsey Sonnel, officers from the P.R. Canadian Border Services, joined 11 other first responders and community members from across the north for the annual ride. In total, they raised more than $150,000 to put towards children’s cancer research and a national support system for families affected by cancer.
“We had a couple of dinners with families and kids that had childhood cancer and hearing their stories was very emotional but very inspiring and motivating to keep us going,” Kirkland said.
Seeing the impact of previous years’ fundraising efforts, which helped save some kids’ lives, was a highlight of the trip for Kirkland.
“We saw where the money went and, a couple of the kids, they had no other options,” Kirkland said.
This was Kirkland’s first year participating in the Tour de North and he spent a lot of time preparing and training for the ride. At times it felt like a second job, he said. However it was worth all of the effort.
“It was just an amazing experience. I know a lot of money goes toward cancer research but childhood cancer, or pediatric cancer, is very specific. A lot of the treatments that are funded by government and non-government organizations go toward adult cancers and their treatment and research,” Kirkland said.
He explained how these treatments, which are meant for adults, can have negative long-term effects on children.
“So it’s really important to raise money for pediatric cancer, because it’s very specific.”
Cops for Cancer celebrated 25 years by once again hosting four cycling tours across B.C. in 2022, the Tour de Coast, Tour de Valley, Tour de Rock and Tour de North.
The public can donate to the Cops for Cancer fundraiser until Nov. 29 at www.support.cancer.ca.
Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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