|Cyclists Riding Across the Country for Kids with Cancer Arrive in Toronto Tomorrow|
TORONTO, Sep. 17, 2010 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) --
Forty-two cyclists who are riding across Canada to raise money for kids with cancer arrive in Toronto tomorrow (Saturday, September 18) with a special ceremony at Sherway Gardens.
It's part of the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride where 42 national riders are trekking 7000 km across the country in a relay-style ride united in the goal to improve the quality of life for children and their families, living with and beyond cancer. The national riders left White Rock, BC on September 9(th) and are scheduled to arrive in Halifax on the 23(rd) . It's the world's longest charitable cycling event on behalf of childhood cancer.
They're expected to roll into the Sherway Gardens parking lot behind the Sears store at around 4:30 p.m. People are invited out to lend them support. Special guests on hand to greet the riders include former Toronto Maple Leaf and Team Canada great Ron Ellis, Dr. Victor Blanchette, Staff physician, haematology and oncology at The Hospital for Sick Children, Dene Rogers, President and CEO, Sears Canada, as well as some parents of children who have had cancer and a young 16-year-old cancer survivor.
"Everyone has the same reason for participating," said Dene Rogers, President & CEO, Sears Canada, who will also participate at the Sherway event. "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.
Canadians can also 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#
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.
"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," said Jeff Rushton, Founder of Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation (CTCACF), 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 kilometer 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."
Cancer is the leading cause of non-accidental death in children in Canada. Each year, about 1,400 children are diagnosed with cancer and about 25% of these patients are treated at SickKids. More children die of cancer each year than asthma, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and congenital anomalies combined. Childhood cancer is very different from adult cancer and places its own unique demands on our healthcare system.
"As someone who cares for children with cancer on a daily basis, it is gratifying to see so many people rally together to help these kids and their families," said Dr. David Malkin, Associate Chief of Research, SickKids Research Institute. "The treatment and cure for these kids is an ongoing and lengthy process and we rely on support from initiatives like the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride to continue to improve outcomes."
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 multi-channel 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.