Sears Kids Cancer Ride
London Community News
Photo by Mike Maloney/London Community News/Twitter: mdmaloneyphoto
For five years now, the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride has wheeled across Canada, raising money for the fight against child cancers.
On Friday (Sept. 14), one of two teams — totaling 27 riders — on the 7,000 kilometre trek rolled into London, stopping at the Sears store in Masonville Place for lunch.
Steve Welsh is one of the riders on the tour. Taking part alongside his dad, John, Walsh joined the ride for the first time in memory of his friend, Adam Fedosoff , who lost his battle to the disease earlier this year.
After two weeks now of rising to the challenge of hopping on the bike each morning and riding 250 kilometres, Walsh notes the task has become second nature. “It is more normal to ride my bike right now than walk,” said the 17-year-old from Barrie, Ont.
Rain on Friday added another level of discomfort for the riders. Walsh remarked that while weather increased the level of challenge, “It is nothing compared to what the kids we are riding for go through daily.”
Those words were echoed by Mike Leiter, another rider making the cross-country trek, who knows all to well what that is like, having lost his own son to cancer six years ago.
Hailing from Tower City, Pennsylvania, Leiter’s reason for riding is simple — help raise the money to find a cure.
“The pain, the suffering and the way parents feel when they are told a child has cancer has no borders. To me, it doesn’t matter who finds the cure, just that the cure is found.”
After getting back on their bikes after lunch, the nine riders who stopped in London were off to Woodstock and then Brantford before finishing for the day. After that, it is on to Toronto and eventually Halifax where the ride ends on Sept. 21
All money raised by the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride is directed through the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation towards both national initiatives in support of child oncology programs and to pediatric oncology hospitals and centres across the country.
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