36 Cyclists Undertake 7,000 km Ride Across Canada To Battle Childhood Cancer



    
    Sears National Kids Cancer Ride arriving in Montréal and Québec City
    on June 21-22
    

    MONTREAL, June 21 /CNW/ - The 36 Sears National Kids Cancer Ride cyclists
departed Vancouver on June 13 and will arrive in Halifax on June 24. Community
events will be held in Montréal on June 21 and Québec City on June 22. The
ride across Canada is the world's longest charitable cycling event on behalf
of childhood cancer. When the cyclists arrive in Halifax, they will have
covered over 7,000 km.
    Last year, the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride raised $1.1 million from
Canadians to fund both national and provincial pediatric hematology and
oncology research programs. This year, the event hopes to increase that amount
and is calling on all Canadians to participate to help achieve this goal.
    Two Montréalers, Beth Stutman and Mark Weinberg, are participating as
national riders. Both Stutman, 60, and Weinberg, 62, took part in last year's
ride-along through the streets of Montréal and were touched by the heart
wrenching stories of children fighting cancer. The children's perseverance and
message of hope compelled Stutman and Weinberg to take on the challenge of a
coast to coast ride this year.
    National rider Ken Cross has a daughter who has had cancer since she was
four years old. She is now five and still fighting. That is incentive enough
for Cross, a Kingston, Ontario resident to join 35 other riders in cycling
across Canada this month in the second annual Sears National Kids Cancer Ride
to raise awareness and funds in the battle against childhood cancer.
    "Sears is fully committed to the cause of pediatric oncology as a
Company," said Dene Rogers, President & CEO, Sears Canada. "Through the
involvement of our associates and the vast network of Sears locations across
the country, we can raise awareness, money for research and treatment and
support for children and their families who are dealing with these devastating
diseases."
    The funds raised in the inaugural Sears National Kids Cancer Ride last
year was the largest single donation received by the Canadian Council of
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Directors (a group of hospitals known as the
C17), the national childhood cancer organization representing all 17 pediatric
hematology/oncology programs across the country. Of the $1.1 million raised,
$770,000 was given to C17 to fund national pediatric hematology and oncology
research. The balance of $330,000 was distributed to pediatric oncology
centres across Canada to support initiatives in childhood cancer at the local
level.
    "It is thanks to the involvement of partners such as Sears Canada with
Opération Enfant Soleil that sick children can receive high quality care and
benefit from treatment at the leading edge of technology in the major
pediatric centres funded by our organization. I thank all those involved in
this major event for their participation," commented Ginette Charest,
President and Executive Director of Opération Enfant Soleil.
    The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride is organized by the Coast to Coast
Against Cancer Foundation (CTCACF). Money raised in Québec will be forwarded
to Opération Enfant Soleil to support pediatric hospitals in the province.
    "Helping these kids and their families is the focus of our efforts," said
Jeff Rushton, Founder of CTCACF. "The donations raised are critical in helping
to fund programs that can improve the survival rates and the quality of life
for children fighting this horrible disease."
    Cancer is the leading cause of non-accidental death in children in
Canada. Each year, about 1,400 children are diagnosed with cancer. More
children die of cancer each year than asthma, cystic fibrosis, muscular
dystrophy, and congenital anomalies combined. Childhood cancer is very
different from adult cancer and places its own unique demands on our
healthcare system. The treatment and cure for these children is a 24/7
process, often over a period of 2-3 years.

    Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network of 198 corporate
stores, 193 dealer stores, 40 home improvement showrooms, over 1,800 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.
    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.





For further information:

For further information: Mike McGrath, (514) 671-0209


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