|National ride for kids cancer to start in Vancouver|
|VANCOUVER, Apr 24, 2008 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX News Network) -- The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride Begins June 2, 2008 in Vancouver and
ends 19 days later in Halifax
Imagine riding your bike between 4 to 8 hours non-stop every day for 6 months. A daunting task, you might think, but not for the 50 cyclists training for the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride. On June 2, 2008 a peloton of 50 cyclists will take to the highways of Canada, embarking on a 7,600 km cycling adventure that will take them from Vancouver to Halifax in 19 days. This challenge - one of the largest fundraising events on behalf of childhood cancer in the world - is no small feat, both for the national riders and the charities that will benefit from the funds raised from this event.
This spring, Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation and retail giant Sears Canada will raise awareness and approximately $1.5 million for children living with and beyond cancer as they cycle across Canada. Along the route, national riders will be joined by supporters and hundreds of other cyclists who have registered for shorter 25 and 100+ km community rides as they stop at Sears locations and pediatric oncology centres. Both national riders and community riders will sign a giant card, designed by a child, as a symbol of love and hope for all children battling cancer.
"On behalf of all doctors and health care professionals working in the field of childhood cancer care in BC, I give my full support to this tremendous initiative and applaud all those who contribute by riding, fundraising and volunteering and especially, donating, to improve the quality of life for our children with cancer," said Dr. Paul Rogers, Medical Director & Division Head, Paediatric Oncology / Haematology / BMT at BC Children's Hospital.
"As someone who, on a daily basis, sees the devastating effects this disease can have on both the kids who suffer from it and their families, I see the impact the funds from this event will have on the frontlines of this battle," added Dr. Rogers.
Childhood cancer is the number one disease-related cause of death among children in BC. Approximately 150 children under 18 are newly diagnosed with cancer each year and 20% of those will succumb to the disease. Another 6,000 survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer are already living with cancer or its long-term effects. More than one third of survivors of childhood cancer will face "after effects" of their disease, including second malignancies, as well as permanent neurocognitive impairment and sterility. These "after effects" are increasing, debilitating and can be potentially life threatening.
"This event, the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride, is really an endeavour from the heart for everyone involved. We are committed to doing our part to help children and their families impacted by cancer through funds that this event will raise," said Jeff Rushton, Founder of the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation. "Funds raised by community rides and special events will be directed to the local pediatric oncology centres across the country," explained Rushton, "while donations raised by the national riders will support national pediatric oncology initiatives in three major areas of need: research, education and transition and survivorship."
"It's heart-wrenching when you consider the courage and determination of these young children in their battle with cancer and we are proud to support this event," said Dene Rogers, President & CEO, Sears Canada. "An illness such as cancer has a great impact on the entire family. This is an important cause to our customers and associates, and we are pleased to play a leading role in bringing increased awareness and funding to it."
Jenn Davies, a registered Massage Therapist from Kelowna is one of two BC-based national riders. Jenn is busy training every day, and has set a fundraising goal of $50,000.
"I am blessed with healthy children and cannot imagine the devastation of parents whose children have been stricken with cancer," said Jenn, who participated in other Coast to Coast Against Cancer events before moving to Kelowna with her husband and two kids. "This is a huge commitment and the ride will be difficult, but none of it will be as hard as getting up everyday and facing chemotherapy. I want to give something of myself to families who are struggling, and to set an example for my children and community."
Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation is a national charitable foundation dedicated to improving survival rates and quality of life of children living with and beyond cancer. The foundation runs a number of high quality, physically challenging local, regional and national events that raise funds directed towards pediatric oncology research, survivorship and support programs. Through its volunteer-based operating model and corporate sponsorships, the foundation's objective is to distribute 100% of donations from individual donors directly to the programs it supports and it does not make use of professional fundraisers. The foundation runs or is affiliated with a number of events including Tour For Kids Ontario, Tour For Kids Alberta, The Inside Ride, Ride for Karen, and the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride across Canada.
Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network of 196 corporate stores, 179 dealer stores, 61 home improvement showrooms, over 1,800 catalogue merchandise pick-up locations, 106 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide home maintenance, repair, and installation network. The Company also publishes Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online at www.sears.ca.
For more information, to register as a rider or a volunteer, or to make a donation, visit www.searsnationalkidscancerride.com or call 1.866.381.4446.
SOURCE: Sears Canada Inc.
Patricia Robitaille, PRCommunications Inc., Phone: (604) 873-0080, Email: email@example.com; Eliana Cugini, Sears Canada, Phone: (416) 941-4426, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Steven Sokolowski, Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, Phone: (416) 802-4832, Email: email@example.com