|From the Pacific to the Atlantic, 42 cyclists depart White Rock In the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride To Raise Money for Kids, Families|
VANCOUVER, Sep. 8, 2010 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) --
Their reasons are all different. For some, it's personal; maybe they or a loved one has or had cancer. For others, it's a powerful way to support kids with cancer. Regardless, the 42 cyclists are united in one cause - to raise money and awareness in the battle against childhood cancer - and from September 9th to the 23rd , they will lead the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride in an over 7,000-kilometre journey across Canada.
Two of the 42 riders are from BC: Siobhan McManus from Kelowna, and Peggy Tobin from Prince George. Siobhan explains what motivates her: "Recently a colleague of mine's five-year-old son fell ill with cancer. Within a matter of days he went from being a kid who took a lot of naps and bruised easily, to having cancer treatment and surgery at BC Children's Hospital. It's incredible how quickly cancer can swoop in and turn a family's life upside down! These kids and their families really need a lot of support."
These 42 national riders, who will traverse across the country in a relay-style ride, will be joined along the way by thousands of other community cyclists who will ride shorter distances, all united in the goal to improve the quality of life for children and their families, living with and beyond cancer.
After dipping their wheels in the Pacific and departing White Rock, BC on September 9th, the riders will arrive in Halifax on September 23rd and ceremonially dip their wheels in the Atlantic to signal the end of the ride. The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride across Canada is the world's longest charitable cycling event on behalf of childhood cancer.
Canadians can track the national ride and become a fan of Ben, Sears bear mascot, who is travelling with the riders and is posting daily reports on his Facebook fan page, Bens-Reports-on-Sears-National-Kids-Cancer-Ride. The site is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bens-Reports-on-Sears-National-Kids-Cancer-Ride/105812163828?ref=mf#.
"Everyone has the same reason for participating," says Lauren Veitch, Regional Vice-President, Corporate Stores, Sears Canada. "Whether riding across the country, joining a community ride, volunteering, donating, or, as in Sears' case, sponsoring the ride, the reason for participating is the same: it's about helping kids and their families living with cancer and conducting research to increase the survival rate in the future. Sears is fully committed to the cause of pediatric oncology. Through the involvement of our associates and the vast network of Sears locations across the country, we're proud that we can raise awareness and money for research, treatment and support for children and their families."
The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride will fund programs that improve the lives of children living with cancer as well as those recovering from the physical and emotional scars that can be part of survivorship. Money raised will be used to fund both national and provincial pediatric hematology and oncology research programs.
Now in its third year, the last two rides raised $2.6 million with $1,520,000 given to the Canadian Council of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Directors (a group of hospitals known as the C17), the national organization representing all 17 pediatric hematology/oncology programs across Canada. The balance of $1,080,000 was distributed to pediatric oncology centres across Canada to support initiatives at the local level. This year's goal is to raise $1.5 million.
Each year more than 100 BC children are newly diagnosed with cancer and more than 750 youngsters receive active treatment for cancer at BC Children's Hospital every year. Cancer is the leading cause of non-accidental death in children in Canada. More children die of cancer each year than asthma, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and congenital anomalies combined. Childhood cancer is different from adult cancer and places its own unique demands on our health-care system.
"As someone who deals with children with cancer on a daily basis, it is gratifying to see so many people give of themselves to help these children and their families," says Dr. Mason Bond, Division Head of Pediatric Hematology Oncology BMT at B.C. Children's Hospital. "The treatment and the road to finding cures for these kids is a difficult and complex process and we rely on support from initiatives like the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride to accomplish our goal."
"Money raised is critical in helping fund programs that can improve the survival rates and the quality of life for children fighting this horrible disease," says Jeff Rushton, founder of Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, a volunteer-based registered Canadian charitable foundation focused on improving health outcomes and quality of life of children and families impacted by cancer. The Foundation develops and conducts events like the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride in communities across Canada. "With each kilometre pedaled, collectively we will enrich the quality of life of Canadian children burdened by this devastating disease. Every donation helps another child to just be able to be a kid."
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.
Sears Canada is a multichannel retailer with a network of 197 corporate stores, 219 dealer stores, 31 home improvement showrooms, over 1,800 catalogue merchandise pick-up locations, 108 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.
SOURCE: Sears Canada Inc.
Patricia Robitaille, email@example.com, 604-873-0080; Eliana Cugini, Sears Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-941-4426