Cancer survivor Marley Leahy, 8, with grandmother Randi Jonasson presented a cheque of $123.70 to Tour de Rock riders when they visited Sooke on Sept. 29. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)

Sooke Tour de Rock visit ‘pretty fantastic’

Thousands raised locally for pediatric cancer research

It was fitting that, as the Tour de Rock team rolled into Sooke on Wednesday (Sept. 29), three childhood cancer survivors were there to greet them.

Daisy Irwin, Lily Leinana and Marley Leahy were excited to see the Tour de Rock team as they made two stops in Sooke – outside the home of Irwin and at Journey Middle School.

“It’s really nice they are reaching out,” said Irwin, 16, who battled leukemia and underwent a bone marrow transplant at six months old.

Eight-year-old Leahy called the visit by the team “pretty fantastic.”

RELATED: Lily donated hair, now battles cancer

As junior riders in the past, the three girls promoted the cause that raises money for pediatric cancer research. A portion of the donations is used to send kids with cancer and their families to Camp Goodtimes at Loon Lake in Maple Ridge for a week of free entertainment.

For the last two years, the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock has been significantly modified to avoid big gatherings and prevent the possible spread of COVID-19, but that hasn’t deterred tour riders.

Typically, police officers and other special guests ride the tour once, but due to COVID, only alumni riders have taken part this year.

RELATED: Daisy is what ride is all about

Tour rider Const. Cole Brewer said it’s the chance in a lifetime to take another spin on the Tour de Rock.

“It gets very personal,” said the 16-year member of the RCMP, who first rode in 2017. “It was definitely important for us to come here today.”

This year the tour aims to raise more than $1 million. Thousands of dollars in donations were raised in Sooke, with the Sooke Harbourside Lions making one of the largest, $3,000.

The tour ends on Friday in Sidney.

RELATED: Music, food and memories on tap for Tour de Rock finale in Sidney



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Mascot Ryder greets Tour de Rock well-wishers during his visit to Sooke on Sept. 29. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)

Mascot Ryder greets Tour de Rock well-wishers during his visit to Sooke on Sept. 29. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)

Cancer survivor Marley Leahy, 8, with her $123.70 donation for Tour de Rock. (Kevin Laird-Sooke News Mirror)

Cancer survivor Marley Leahy, 8, with her $123.70 donation for Tour de Rock. (Kevin Laird-Sooke News Mirror)

The Sooke Harbourside Lions Club presented a cheque of $3,000 to Tour de Rock on Sept. 29 during a visit by riders. The club has donated thousands to the cause over the years. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)

The Sooke Harbourside Lions Club presented a cheque of $3,000 to Tour de Rock on Sept. 29 during a visit by riders. The club has donated thousands to the cause over the years. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)

Tour de Rock riders rolled into Sooke on Sept. 29 as part of their annual trek down Island. This year’s trek was scaled down from past years. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)

Tour de Rock riders rolled into Sooke on Sept. 29 as part of their annual trek down Island. This year’s trek was scaled down from past years. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)

Cancer survivor Daisy Irwin, 16, with Tour de Rock rider Const. Cole Brewer. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)

Cancer survivor Daisy Irwin, 16, with Tour de Rock rider Const. Cole Brewer. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)