TORONTO, Sept. 16, 2011 /CNW/ - Fifteen national relay riders are
cycling across Canada in the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride to help
raise money and awareness in the battle against childhood cancer during
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September. Now in its fourth
year, the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride is the longest charitable
cycling event of its kind in the world.
The 15 national relay riders departed White Rock, BC on September 7th and are riding relay-style across the country before arriving in
Halifax on September 22nd, completing a journey that will take them over 7,000 km. Twenty-three
regional relay riders, six of whom are Sears associates, will accompany
them on their trek through Ontario.
Among the 15 national cyclists is 17-year-old cancer survivor Josh
Nelson of Cambridge, Ontario, who is riding a tandem bike across Canada
with partner Mark Burger of Georgetown, Ontario. Hundreds of other
community cyclists are expected to join Josh and the national and relay
riders along the way as the cyclists pass through their cities and
towns - all united in the goal to improve the quality of life for
children and their families, living with and beyond cancer.
"This ride is all about helping kids and their families cope with
cancer," said Calvin McDonald, President & CEO, Sears Canada. "We're
proud to help support this ride by raising awareness and money for
research and treatment through the involvement of our associates and
the vast network of Sears locations across the country."
Cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death in children in
Canada. Each year, about 1,500 children are diagnosed with cancer, 25
per cent of which are treated at SickKids. Over the last year, more
than 375 patients were newly diagnosed with cancer at SickKids alone;
there were 22,532 clinic visits for cancer-related treatments and 112
Blood and Marrow Transplants. Leukemias, brain and other nervous system
tumours, lymphomas (lymph node cancers), bone cancers, soft tissue
sarcomas, kidney cancers, eye cancers, and adrenal gland cancers are
the most common cancers of children.
"The importance of initiatives like the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride
cannot be overstated in the battle against childhood cancer," said Dr.
David Malkin, Senior Staff Oncologist and Senior Scientist, SickKids.
"With children and cancer, it touches not just the child, but the whole
family. The treatment and care is an ongoing and lengthy process and we
rely on the funds and awareness from events like this to continue to
improve outcomes for the kids."
The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride has helped raise over $4 million for
the Canadian Council of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Directors (a
group of hospitals known as the C17), the national organization
representing all 17 pediatric hematology/oncology programs across
Canada and for pediatric oncology centres across Canada to support
initiatives at the local level. This year's goal is to raise $1.2
Along with national initiatives, money raised by the Sears National Kids
Cancer Ride will also fund provincial pediatric hematology and oncology
research programs, including those at SickKids, that improve the lives
of children living with cancer as well as those recovering from the
physical and emotional scars that can be part of survivorship.
As the riders stop at many Sears outlets across the country, Canadians
will have an opportunity to meet and encourage the riders and sign
specially designed T-shirts that the national riders will put on at
each community event. The goal is to have these T- shirts completely
covered with signatures and messages at the end of their journey in
Canadians can also track the Ride and become a fan of Ben, Sears bear
mascot, who is travelling with the riders and is posting daily reports
on his Facebook fan page called Adventures with Ben the Sears Charity Bear on www.facebook.com/benthesearsbear.
"While September may be Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, for children
suffering with cancer, this is a year-round battle," said Jeff Rushton,
Founder, Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation (CTCACF), a
volunteer-based registered Canadian charitable foundation focused on
improving health outcomes and quality of life of children and families
impacted by cancer. The Foundation develops and conducts events like
the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride in communities across Canada.
"Money raised is critical in helping fund programs to improve the
survival rates and quality of life for children fighting this horrible
For more information, to register as a rider or a volunteer, or to make
a donation, visit www.SearsNationalKidsCancerRide.com or call 1.866.381.4446.
Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network that includes
196 corporate stores, 280 hometown dealer stores, 32 home services
showrooms, over 1,700 catalogue merchandise pick-up locations, 108
Sears Travel offices and a nationwide home maintenance, repair, and
installation network. The Company also publishes Canada's most
extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online at www.sears.ca.
SOURCE Sears Canada Inc.
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