For the sixth year, the scenic roads of Niagara will be filled with determined cyclists who have come together on a mission – to support patients of the Walker Family Cancer Centre.
The Big Move Cancer Ride, happening this Sunday, is a grown-in-Niagara, non-competitive cycling event featuring a 30km, 60km or 100km course. Riders support the cause by collecting pledges for Niagara’s regional Cancer Centre. Since the 2009 inaugural event, the Big Move has raised $2.1 million for equipment essential to quality patient care.
Doing something positive and hopeful in the fight against cancer is what makes participants ‘Inspired to Ride’. Ongoing rivalries for dollars raised have emerged over the years, “but in this competition, everybody wins”, says Dr. Janice Giesbrecht, NHS Medical Director of Oncology. Dr. Giesbrecht, who leads a team of cancer centre riders each year, invites all Niagara residents to take part. “I’m so proud of our care team and the work they do with patients and their families every day”, says Giesbrecht. “At this event, we see the entire community lending support to our patients in their own way and it’s exhilarating to be a part of it.”
The upbeat energy of the day keeps people coming back year after year. OneFoundation for Niagara Health System Chair Mike Watt has been a rider from the very beginning and feels it’s a crusade that all participants can take pride in. “It’s emotional and hopeful,” he says. “I have lost great friends and mentors to cancer, so this fight hits home like no other in a very personal way…like many other families across the region. The hundreds of riders and volunteers who’ve been a part of this event year after year are a true inspiration.”
Currently there almost 500 cyclists registered for the 2014 Ride. The first group will be departing from Club Roma at 8:15 a.m. In addition to the riders, the event enjoys the support of countless sponsors, partners and over 250 volunteers who have rallied behind The Big Move to make their contribution to cancer care in Niagara. For information on how to participate, sponsor a rider or become a volunteer, visit www.bigmovecancerride.com.