The 26th Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock has officially come to an end, raising more than their $1,000,000 fundraising goal.
With the riders, honourary riders, and their supporters gathered on the steps of the B.C. legislature Friday (Oct. 6) evening, the grand total was revealed by a giant cheque: $1,027,559.46.
This year’s success means the Cops for Cancer effort has raised more than $28 million since the first 1,200 km bike ride across Vancouver Island was held in 1998, with every single penny going to the Canadian Cancer Society’s efforts in pediatric cancer research and support for children battling cancer at Camp Goodtimes.
“It’s so hard to put it into words to be honest. It’s the culmination of months and months of work,” said Cops for Cancer senior manager Ninon Daubigeon. “I’m so proud of the team this year and all their hard work.”
Throughout their months of training and along the ride itself, the 19 riders representing police, fire, EMS, and their media partners visited communities to raise funds and awareness about childhood cancer.
Despite the physical and emotional challenges the riders experienced, all agree it was nothing compared to what their honourary riders – children battling cancer or siblings of those who are – experience every day.
“Being able to raise money to send kids who suffer to Camp Goodtimes so they can just be kids and be with kids just like them … was something I always wanted to be part of,” said rider Mike Ramsey of the Nanaimo RCMP.
“We all suffered something, but we all kept getting up, and kept riding because we are here for the kids, and we have to ride for them,” added fellow rider Wes Richens of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP.
According to the CCS, an estimated 1,050 children under 15 in Canada were diagnosed with cancer in 2021. Over the last five years, CCS has invested $16.4 million in childhood cancer research projects. This investment is contributing to improved outcomes as the five-year survival rate for childhood cancer is now 84 per cent, an increase from 71 per cent in the 1980s.
While the Tour de Rock is over for 2023, donations are still being accepted online at support.cancer.ca.
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