Students ride against cancer

Team effort: Members of the team Suck it up Princess support their teammate as she rides one of the stationary bikes at Coast to Coast against Cancer’s Inside Ride event on March 13.
Team effort: Members of the team Suck it up Princess support their teammate as she rides one of the stationary bikes at Coast to Coast against Cancer’s Inside Ride event on March 13.

Reporter: Dan Cearns

It’s not always easy for children and families who have to live with cancer. But Coast to Coast against Cancer looked to make it easier on March 13 as they held their Inside Ride event at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre.
The Inside Ride raises money for children and families living with cancer, and 100 per cent of the funds go towards children’s charities. A total of $1,925 was raised for the event. The event was set up and hosted by Durham College Police Foundations students Justin McKinnon and Melanie Hern.
“We were trying to look for a lot of volunteer opportunities in the community to get involved and with the school,” said Hern. “Then we decided that if we couldn’t find one to get involved with that we would create one. We wanted to take the initiative and create something at our school.”
Hern also said that the cause that the event supports is personal for her.
“I’ve had many experiences with cancer in my family,” she said. “I do it to help make sure people are aware of the challenges that each individual facing cancer go through. It’s not just the cancer they are facing, it’s the treatments and the financial support that they need and this event really looks at that.“
Carolyn Hoar, Family Support co-ordinator of Hearth Place Cancer Support Centre, said that sometimes there is too much information too fast for families after their children are diagnosed with cancer.
“There’s the information overload. At the hospital, they get a large binder with all the information and sometimes it can be all too much at once,” she said.
On top of the overload, Hoar said there are other stressers that are put on families of the patients.
“I think it puts an enormous stress on young families,” she said. “It’s expensive to park at Sick Kids. You also have one person in the family that has to take leave from work, so they are not getting paid and the expenses start to pile up.”
There were eight stationary bikes set up, each with an odometer to measure the team’s overall mileage. A total of seven teams registered to participate in the event, with each having about four to six people. Each team had to raise a minimum of $300 to ride in the event.
There were six rounds, in which each rider would ride non-stop for 10 minutes each.
At the end of the event, four team medals and two individual medals were awarded. The Ride-iculous Rascals won medals for Best Team Spirit and Top Team Fundraising. Row for a Cause won a medal for the highest mileage team and Suck it up Princess won the best team costume medal.
Eric Lodge won a medal for being the top male fundraiser. Elizabeth Selinger ended the day with three medals, two team medals and one for being the top female fundraiser.
“It feels good. I’m really happy that I could support the cause,” she said. “My roommate Melanie is one of the organizers. I knew it was really important to her and the cause sounded really appealing. I do relay for life usually, so this cause to support children with cancer just sounds really amazing.”
Jenn Davies, program manager for the Inside Ride, felt that the students did a good job setting up and running the event.
“The students worked really hard to establish a for-sure event, so I’m really proud of their work,” she said. “They need to feel really good about having made a contribution to their community. A lot of these students are part of the Police Foundations program, and part of the whole culture of the program is community service and giving back to the community, so they should feel like they achieved that and hopefully they feel like they had fun and that this is something that we can continue as a tradition at Durham College and UOIT.”
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, about 860 Canadian children and youth from birth to 14 years old are stricken with cancer each year. As well, about 82 per cent of those children will survive at least five years after they are diagnosed.