Cops for Cancer

Tour de Rock comes to Alberni on Friday, Sept. 25.

Hilary Eastmure and Const. Mihai Ilioi will ride for Nanaimo.

Hilary Eastmure and Const. Mihai Ilioi will ride for Nanaimo.


Four years ago, Brett Wasylyniuk was four years old and bald, having gone through chemotherapy for a rare form of cancer. It was the first year he served as a junior rider with the Canadian Cancer Society’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock.

The tour began last week in Port Alice and will see the team complete a 1,000-kilometre bike ride in Victoria after spending two weeks raising money and awareness for pediatric cancer research.

When the tour arrives in town this Friday, Sept. 25, Wasylyniuk hopes to be bald again—only this time he wants his head shaved. The boy, now 8, has raised $500 to lose his locks, which have grown well past his eyebrows and nose over the past year.

“I’m proud of him for doing it,” Wasylyniuk’s father Richard said.

Port Alberni did not have a rider this year, but the central Island adopted media rider Hilary Eastmure and RCMP Const. Mihai Ilioi, both from Nanaimo. Wasylyniuk is Ilioi’s junior rider this year.

The riders tackle the Hump on Highway 4 Friday morning and should be at the top of the Hump by 11:17 a.m. They will cruise into the Walmart parking lot around 11:49 a.m. for speeches and head shaves. They have several more stops planned in the community throughout the early afternoon.

Wasylyniuk will have his head shaved during the team’s stop at AW Neill Elementary School around 1:30 p.m.

After an afternoon break riders will head to Boston Pizza for a family fun night and dinner, from 5:30–7:30 p.m.

Right after the Tour de Rock concludes, Wasylyniuk and his father will head to BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver for regular bloodwork. They only have to make the trip once every six months.

“They’ve said now that it’s been three years the odds of that type of cancer coming back have dropped quite a bit.”