Cyclists Riding Across Canada in The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride Arrive in Quebec!

QUEBEC, Sept. 19, 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, arrive in Montreal today. 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.

Among them are Daniel Charpentier, a Sears associate (Brossard), who will ride from Ottawa to Quebec City, and Dr. Yves Pastore, a pediatric hematology oncologist at CHU Sainte-Justine, who is part of the Canadian Council of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Directors (C17) team, who will ride from Toronto to Quebec City. François Grenier is another regional relay rider who will ride from Quebec City to Halifax.

Among the 15 national cyclists is 17-year-old cancer survivor Josh Nelson of Cambridge, Ontario, who will be 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," says Simon Bourque, Regional Vice-President, Corporate Stores, Sears Canada Inc. "We're proud to help support this ride by raising awareness and money for research and treatment through the involvement of our partner and beneficiary, Opération Enfant Soleil, our associates and the vast network of Sears locations across the country."

Along with national initiatives, money raised by the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride in Quebec will be given to Opération Enfant Soleil. Money will help fund provincial pediatric hematology and oncology research programs, including those at CHU Sainte-Justine, CHU Sherbrooke, the Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre and the Centre mere-enfant, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Quebec.

Cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death in children in Canada. Each year in Quebec, between 250 and 275 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.

"Kids with cancer and chronic hematological diseases teach us lessons every day," says Dr. Yves Pastore, pediatric hematology oncologist at CHU Sainte-Justine. "Their courage and strength are extraordinary. There is still a long way in our battle against cancer and hematological disorders. As children with cancer and hematology disorders deserve better chance and better life, I want to contribute to this quest as a physician by all possible ways. My implication in the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride is one of them."

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 Halifax.

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.

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 million.

"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 disease."

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, 272 hometown dealer stores, 33 home improvement showrooms, 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.

SOURCE Sears Canada Inc.

For further information:

Pierre Bouchard
bouchard.indico@gmail.com
514 951-7516


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