One of Campbell River’s most dedicated endurance athletes is putting her attributes towards helping kids suffering from cancer.
This is the fourth year Barbara Polehoykie is taking part in the Great Cycle Challenge, a Canada-wide initiative which has raised more than $21 million in support of research to develop treatments and find cures for childhood cancer.
The 60-year-old cyclist will be joined by 66 other Campbell River participants who are donning their Lycra, cycling shoes and helmets to join the battle.
This year, Polehoykie has committed to riding 1,400 kilometres in one month.
Approximately 1,400 children are diagnosed with cancer in Canada each year, and she wants to ride a kilometre for each of them.
“I’ve seen so many of my family members suffer with cancer, and it’s horrible,” she said.
“That’s why I’m doing it for kids. They shouldn’t suffer the way my dad, my brother, my brother-in-law, and my sister-in-law did.”
Polehoykie is dedicating this year’s challenge to her brother, who lost his life to cancer last August.
She races triathlons, and has signed up for this year’s Ironman Canada, which will be held in Penticton. While pushing herself to her limits, Polehoykie said her family members who have passed away cross her mind.
“When I do my Ironmans I’m thinking of my dad,” she said. “And this year will be the first year doing it after my brother passed away, so I’ll have my two angels up there watching over me.”
As of publication, she has reached $405 of her $1,000 goal. To contribute to Polehoykie’s campaign, people can visit her Great Cycle Challenge page, or she can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for donations of cans and bottles.