A handful of kids being treated for cancer at B.C. Children’s Hospital made an impression on a group of cyclists on Thursday as they prepared for a cross-country journey to raise money for cancer charities.
The children — some still in diapers — dipped their hands in paint and stamped the cyclists’ T-shirts to show support for their upcoming 12-day, 5,000-kilometre trek.
Thirty-six riders will leave Coquitlam Centre on Friday, and are set to arrive in Halifax on June 24, for the annual Sears National Kids Cancer Ride.
The event aims to raise awareness and money for childhood cancer research and treatment.
Ginny Martin, whose 20-month-old daughter Shaelyn was diagnosed with leukemia at two months old, said it’s an uplifting change to celebrate a cancer event.
“When you’re in the hospital you’re so helpless, so when it’s all over, (you do) anything you can do that helps raise awareness and give back,” Martin said.
Jenn Davies, whose brother survived childhood cancer, participated in the event last year and said it was “life altering.”
“We rode into cities and towns and met people living with cancer and they were calling us … heroes.
They’re the heroes, we’re just going for a bike ride.”
Davies said the ride was the most difficult thing she’s ever done — physically and mentally — but it was worth every ache, pain and hill.
“I’ve resolved to laugh more … criticize less and take my experience as a stepping off point to make a difference in the world.”