VANCOUVER, Sept. 6, 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.
They will depart White Rock on the morning of September 7th. The national riders will ride relay-style across the country before
arriving in Halifax on September 22nd, completing a journey that will take them over 7,000 km. Seven
regional relay riders will accompany them on their 566 km trek through
The day before the Ride begins cyclists will visit current and former
oncology patients at BC Children's Hospital, on the front lawn of the
Child & Family Research Institute. The children will interact with
riders by writing and drawing messages of encouragement on riders'
T-shirts and giving the riders inspiration to begin their epic journey
the next day.
Nanaimo Sears Store Manager, Thomas Gemma, will be among the riders. His
own daughter was born premature, an experience that brought the battle
parents face when their child is gravely ill clearly into focus. "My
daughter is sixteen now, and I am grateful that things turned out so
well for us. But I have lots of empathy for parents with a sick child.
It can take years to fight cancer, and that's a big part of your
childhood," says Gemma.
Hundreds of other community cyclists are expected to join the national
and relay riders along their journey through BC 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
"This ride is all about helping kids and their families overcome
cancer," says Lauren Veitch, Regional Vice-President, Corporate Stores,
Sears Canada. "We're proud to help support the 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
Cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death in children in
Canada. More than 1,800 children receive cancer treatment or follow-up
care at BC Children's Hospital annually, making more than 7,600 trips
to the Hospital in a year. Approximately 100 BC kids are newly
diagnosed with cancer each year. 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 support of childhood cancer research and
programs in Canada," says Dr. Mason Bond, Division Head of Pediatric
Hematology Oncology BMT at BC Children's Hospital. "When it comes to
children, care and treatment are about more than just the child. It's
an ongoing and lengthy process that involves the whole family. We rely
on the funds and awareness from events like this to continue to improve
outcomes for the kids across BC and Canada."
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 when
they arrive 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 $1.2 million.
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 BC Children's Hospital, 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
"While September may be Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, for children
suffering with cancer, this disease 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, 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.
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