Ninth Annual Sears National Kids Cancer Ride raises funds and awareness for children living with and beyond cancer

Twenty-two Cyclists to Ride Coast to Coast Across Canada

VANCOUVER, Sept. 6, 2016 /CNW/ - As they dip their wheels in the Pacific Ocean in White Rock, BC on Wednesday, September 7, 22 cyclists will embark on a journey across Canada to raise funds and awareness for children living with and beyond cancer.

The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride is the longest charitable cycling event of its kind in the world.  When the cyclists arrive in Halifax on Saturday, September 24 for the ceremonial wheel dip in the Atlantic, they will have covered over 7,000 km.

The national riders will cycle across Canada, visiting many communities, stopping at Sears stores and at pediatric oncology centres where they will meet children and families from the childhood cancer community as well as healthcare and family support professionals, donors and sponsors, all united in the goal to improve the quality of life for children affected by cancer.

"The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride supports a fundraising initiative that holds great meaning for our customers and associates across Canada," said Becky Penrice, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Sears Canada, and President, Sears Canada Charitable Foundation.  "For over 60 years Sears has been serving Canadian families and, in our view, no parent should ever hear the words 'your child has cancer.'  Whether one rides, volunteers or donates, they are playing an active role in a greater effort to increase the survival rate and quality of life of children with cancer in the future."

The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride funds programs 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.  With a 100% donation model, over $10 million has been raised and donated since 2008, and money raised this year will again fund pediatric hematology and oncology research programs at hospitals all across Canada.

"Money raised is critical in helping fund programs that can improve the survival rates and the quality of life for children with cancer," said Jeff Rushton, Co-Founder and passionate volunteer of 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.  "With each kilometre pedaled, collectively we will enrich the quality of life of Canadian children burdened by this devastating disease."

Each year in Canada, about 1,500 children are diagnosed with cancer, the leading cause of disease-related death in children in Canada.  With improved diagnosis and treatment 75% of children and teens now survive five years or more.  However, 60% of survivors have long-lasting effects and/or secondary cancers or permanent impairments as a result of their cancer or treatment.  Childhood cancers are very different from adult cancers and rarely benefit from general cancer research.  The detection and treatment of childhood cancer places unique demands on our healthcare system.

The 2016 Sears National Kids Cancer Ride will see riders from all across Canada participating, including British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.  Once again this year, the Ride will include family teams of riders and volunteers who have been directly impacted by childhood cancer.  For each, the goal is to honour the challenges that other families face when a child is diagnosed with cancer.  In keeping with the family theme, the event has two sisters riding together to honour their nephew  and Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation founder Jeff Rushton will this year be completing the ride with his daughter Brooklyn.

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.  Follow the riders as they cycle across Canada on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SNKCR or on Twitter @SNKCR and #childhoodcancer.

About Sears Canada

Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network that includes 145 corporate stores, 76 Hometown stores, over 1,000 catalogue and online merchandise pick-up locations, 80 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide repair and service network.  Sears Canada is the #1 retailer of major appliances in Canada with all top ten brands.  The Company also publishes Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online at www.sears.ca.

About Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation

The vision of Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation is a world beyond kids cancer. As Canada's only national charity devoted to fighting childhood cancer, the Foundation has raised and distributed over $35 million since 2003, with 100 per cent of receipted donations going toward improving the survival rate and quality of life of children impacted by cancer and their families. Funds are raised by organizing memorable events that encourage active and healthy lifestyles, from cycling rides to team-building activities. For more information, visit www.beyondkidscancer.ca 

SOURCE Sears Canada Inc.

Image with caption: "The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride, taking place from September 7-24, 2016, has raised over $10 million for research in the fight against childhood cancer. (CNW Group/Sears Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160906_C4095_PHOTO_EN_765684.jpg

For further information: Contacts for Media: Dwight Skeates, Sears Canada, Corporate Communications, dskeate@sears.ca; Vincent Power, Sears Canada, Corporate Communications, vpower@sears.ca; Mike Smith, Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, Event Manager, mike.smith@ctcacf.org

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