Along the route, the riders will stop at pediatric oncology centers and Sears stores to meet families and children from the childhood cancer community, health care professionals, donors, and sponsors all united to improve the quality of life of children affected by cancer.
“The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride supports a fundraising initiative that holds great meaning for our customers and associates across Canada,” said Becky Penrice, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Sears Canada, and president of the Sears Canada Charitable Foundation. “For over 60 years Sears has been serving Canadian families and, in our view, no parent should ever hear the words ‘your child has cancer.’ Whether one rides, volunteers or donates, they are playing an active role in a greater effort to increase the survival rate and quality of life of children with cancer in the future.”The charity helps to fun programs that work to improve the lives of children living with cancer as well as those who are recovering from the physical and emotional trauma that can go along with fighting the disease. Since 2008, over $10 million has been raised and donated with money from this year’s event going to fund pediatric hematology and oncology research programs at hospitals all across Canada.
“Money raised is critical in helping fund programs that can improve the survival rates and the quality of life for children with cancer,” said Jeff Rushton, co-founder of Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation. “With each kilometre pedaled, collectively we will enrich the quality of life of Canadian children burdened by this devastating disease.”
Cancer is the leading disease-relate death in children in Canada with 1,500 children each year being diagnosed. Due to improvements in diagnosis and treatment, 75 per cent of children and teens survive five years or more after being diagnosed however the effects of the disease are long lasting and affect an individual after treatment has concluded. The disease in children is very different from adult cancers and places unique demands on the healthcare system which is why individuals from across Canada participate in the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride. The ride includes teams of riders and volunteers directly impacted by childhood cancer including Rushton who will be completing the ride with his daughter and a team of two sisters riding in honour of their nephew.