Riders on the Tour de Rock arrived in Campbell River on Tuesday, the latest stop on an annual bike ride across the Island that raises funds for pediatric cancer research and support programs.
Among the riders was Oyster River volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery, a cancer survivor. She received bracelets of encouragement from Natalia Corrigall, who was diagnosed with cancer at age four, and her sister Annabel. The two are junior riders for the tour.
“This is about cancer research and pediatric cancer, and sending kids like Natalia and Annabel to Camp Goodtimes,” said Emery.
The camp, located in Maple Ridge, is for children with cancer and their families and it’s supported by the Tour de Rock.
Emery described the camp as “an amazing place for these kids to go and spend some time with their families.”
She also stressed the importance of improving cancer treatments for children.
“I had cancer when I was three,” said Emery. “And I know how important it is for the research to provide gentler treatments for these kids.”
Later in the day, the riders gathered at Campbell River Common for cheque presentations along with head shaving and haircuts from A Cut Above’s Carol Chapman, one of the organizers.
“We’re pretty proud,” Chapman said.
The community, she said, had raised more than $60,000 for the Tour de Rock. This included: $31,600 from the Cops for Cancer golf tournament in July; $20,000 from Cups for Cancer’s Candy and Dwight Woods; $5,300 from Ian Emery; $5,000 from Ron the Barber; $1,000 for Rehabilitation in Motion; $400 from Ridge Rider; and $500 from A Cut Above itself. Chapman said on Wednesday that Kylee Doherty brought in another $1,600 she had raised.
At the Campbell River Common event on Tuesday, Natalia’s mom, Christa Corrigall spoke to the team to thank them for all their work and for raising funds for Camp Goodtimes, and exchanged hugs with the members.
She said as her daughter is in remission now, their goal is permanent remission. As junior riders, her daughters now want to help others in the same situation.
“Now, it’s a feeling of wanting to give back and raise awareness,” Corrigall said. “Our fight isn’t over yet.”
Following events in Campbell River, the riders left for the Comox Valley on Wednesday. The ride ends in Victoria on Oct. 5.
-With files from Mike Chouinard