Mitchell, Vic

Vic Mitchell is one of our newest Cancervive Cycle Tour riders.  In fact, in 2018 he’ll be our sole rider representing and raising money for Wellspring Edmonton and man, is he representing!  Vic had the goal to raise $10 for every 690 km hell ride in the 2018 Tour for a total of $6900.  He blew that goal out of the water.

In an interview with Wellspring Edmonton, Vic said he likens his participation in the Tour to being part of a choir.  “You’re leaving all the baggage of life behind you, you’re just enjoying yourself and relaxing. It’s so therapeutic to just forget the things that are on your mind.”

You can read more of Vic’s interview in the Wellspring Edmonton Volunteer Spotlight here.

Welcome to our cycling choir, Vic.  We’re going to rely on you to keep us in tune. Enthusiasm, we have. Musical prowess, not so much.

Duckett, Diane

Diane is a new Cancervive Cycle Tour rider for 2018.  She comes to with a fresh perspective on her cancer diagnosis, a diagnosis she says allowed her to enjoy one of the best years of her life.

Here’s what Diane had to say about why she rides, even to her chemo treatment:

“In November 2016 I returned from a huge ride down the California Coast. I was healthy and strong. A couple of days later, a routine check-up revealed a breast lump. By Christmas, I’d had a biopsy, diagnosis and surgery appointment. Aggressive, invasive cancer… Twelve weeks of chemo followed by radiation and hormone blocker pills daily. How life can change. I approached the news with positivity and optimism. I saw the cancer and treatment as a blip, an inconvenience and also an opportunity. I attended art sessions at Wellspring and painted memory boxes for my children. I swam throughout the chemo period and rode my bike on a beautiful journey 30 km return to my 19 radiation appointments, enjoying a part of Calgary that I was usually too busy to notice. To top off the year I cycled from Madrid to Porto, then up the Camino de Santiago. I lost my hair and felt a little rough but all in the name of moving on to a healthier future. “And this too shall pass”. How true. Hopefully, the cancer stays away. If not, I know that Wellspring is there for me and all the other folk facing a cancer journey.”

Welcome to the Cancervive family, Diane.  We’re proud to be able to ride some of those glorious kms with you on this year’s Tour.

Deans, Rick

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Wake up. Kick butt. Repeat.

That’s what it says on Rick’s t-shirt.   We think it’s a great motto for Cancervive Cycle Tour riders; we’re proud to say Rick will be one of them for the first time this year.   Rick repeated this mantra while he was going through cancer treatment last year.  You can read about Rick’s experience here in the Cochrane Eagle article on him from May 2017 and in the CochraneNow piece from September 2017.

 

Here’s what Rick had to share about why he’s riding in Cancervive Cycle Tour:

“I am riding in Cancervive to support an organization and cause so significant to so many that are affected by cancer. In my own experience last year, I understood what a challenge a cancer diagnosis can be both mentally and physically. This 6-day ride in the foothills and mountains presents its own set of challenges, especially to a novice rider as myself to overcome. Believing you can beat the odds helped me win my battle and kick cancer’s butt. I will take that same motivation to push myself up the hills and long flats of the Tour. When the going gets tough I will think of all those in a tough battle with cancer and push myself through the challenge. I have a passion to ride, so this is the perfect way for me to never forget where I have come from and help give back to others in need from such a great organization as Wellspring.”

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Thank you, Rick, for showing us that when cancer makes us feel like we’re losing control over our lives we still have power over our outlook and mindset.  We know you’re going to kick butt this year (repeatedly) on the Tour.  We’re very lucky to have you as part of the Cancervive family.

If you’d like to support Rick’s ride, you can donate here:

http://bit.ly/2wV38n0

Sasabe, Motoko

Introducing one of the newest members of the Cancervive family, Motoko Sasabe.  From Osaka, Japan, Motoko a dedicated cyclist always willing to help support and build up newer riders.  She is also has a great sense of humour and bakes a mean madeleine.  We should know, we’ve been lucky enough to try her baking.

Here’s what Motoko had to say about why she’s riding in this year’s Cancervive Cycle Tour.  Her family’s story is a heartbreaking one, to say the least, and shows how when a family loses someone to cancer the collateral damage can be just as devastating.

 

“On any given day between March and December you can find me on my bike. I just love to ride my bike. In fact, I don’t even have a driver’s license.

In 2016 a member of my boyfriend’s family was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer.  The family would try to fight it, but at stage 4 the chances weren’t good. Between the chemo and just dealing with the illness it put an incredible strain on the family member’s relationship with my boyfriend’s father; he was watching her die.

After she passed away he was broken, the wind had been taken from his sails and there was no support for him. He had a history of heart disease and just stopped taking his medications without letting his family know.

Within one year cancer took two very important people from my extended family. One of them died of the actual disease and the other died in the aftermath.

I will be riding for them. We want to make sure that those diagnosed with this awful affliction have the support they need to fight it without sacrificing the rest of their life. I’m also riding for those left behind, the people dealing with the death of a loved one, the person they’d grown to depend on to make it through everyday.

I am riding for Sharon Hatfield and Don Burchill.”

 

Thank you, Motoko, for being brave enough to share your family’s story.  The aftermath of cancer is often as devastating as the disease itself.  We’re proud that you’ve found the courage to shed light on this fact and we’re very proud to call you part of the Cancervive family.

 

If you’d like to support Motoko’s ride, you can donate here:

https://goo.gl/Qh8tVI

 

Boivin, Sylvie

Faces of Cancervive :: Meet Sylvie Boivin, one of our newer but no less inspiring Cancervive Cycle Tour riders. Sylvie road with us on the Tour for the first time in 2016 and will be joining us again this year. We were grateful because it meant we could celebrate her birthday with her – and eat cake! Cancer-survivor, Ironman finisher, mother, and dedicated cyclist Sylvie has become a favourite training buddy to many of us.

Here’s what Sylvie had to say about what Wellspring means to her:

“‘You have cancer’. The three words you do not want to hear. Now what, you ask yourself. You feel lost, suddenly uninformed, scared, angry, victimized, sad…and a variety of emotions you didn’t even know existed. And all these emotions take you on the ride of your life, maybe your last. You feel unbalanced, thrown off-kilter but you hang on for the ride. You feel alone even surrounded by the ones you love who are experiencing the ride maybe for the first time. They too feel helpless. This is where Wellspring comes in and brings a different perspective to your situation. Wellspring staff welcomes you with warm hearts, compassion and hope. The variety of programs offered by Wellspring is phenomenal and available at no cost to anyone with a diagnosis and their caregiver.

That is why I ride for Cancervive; so that Wellspring can continue to offer programs to anyone fighting for their life. So that no one has to face cancer alone.”

Merci Sylvie pour ton courage, ton esprit, and ta joie de vivre! We’re lucky to have you as part of the Cancervive family.

You can support Sylvie’s Tour by donating here.

Tatebe, Wes

Meet Wes Tatebe, one of our veteran Tour riders.  Wes has ridden in not one, not two, but SIX Cancervive Cycle Tours.  This year he’s making it a family affair riding with his wife, Kathy, and their 16-year old son, Seiren.  Here’s what Wes said about why he’s riding again in 2017:

 

“I recently joined the Cancervive Cycle Tour challenge for the 6th time to raise funds for people living with cancer who are supported through Wellspring Calgary. I invite you to help me exceed my fundraising goal as I participate in the 6-day cycling tour, leaving from Wellspring Calgary’s Fountain Court location through the Foothills, Kananaskis, Banff National Park, Rocky Mountain House, Cochrane, and ending at Wellspring Calgary’s Carma House.

Why am I doing this? As a Board member for Wellspring Calgary, I see and hear about the tremendous impact Wellspring has on it’s members. Unfortunately the demand and nedd continues to grow.  43 people in Alberta are diagnosed each day with a cancer diagnosis and have nowhere to turn for support.  Wellspring provides that support through free programs so no one has to face cancer alone.

This year I am riding in honor of my step-dad, Ken who is demonstrating quiet courage through his battle.  I am also riding in honor of Kathy’s Mom, Jean who we lost in 2010 in another show of incredible grace and courage.  Kathy and I will be riding along with my son Seiren who just turned 16. I am certain he will be teaching us on the tough climbs but we will be teaching him about giving back to the community to a great cause.

Every dollar makes a difference in the lives of someone living with cancer. Please support me in my efforts to have an impact on someone’s life.

Thank you in advance! I look forward to sharing stories and picture of my incredible journey with you!

Wes”

 

Help Wes reach his fundraising goal by donating here.

Welcome back, Wes! We can’t wait to see the family peloton in action this September.

Nieuwesteeg, Jerry

Meet Jerry Nieuwesteeg, one of the Godfathers of the Cancervive Cycle Tour.  Affectionately nicknamed Nuke, Jerry has been riding with and protecting us from headwinds for many, many Tours. Here’s what Jerry said about why he’s riding in the 2017 Tour:

“I’m once again going to ride for Wellspring Calgary to raise money for an organization that is a godsend for cancer patients and their families. This year will be my 4th annual ride and it’s now become an annual event for me. The riding of a bicycle is easy compared to what cancer families have to deal with. I look forward to the challenge of a 6 day ride regardless of the weather.

Why am I doing this?  To support people living with cancer who are helped by Wellspring Calgary! Did you know 43 people a day are diagnosed with cancer in Alberta? In Calgary alone, 5 people a day may be seeking a place like Wellspring to support them during their cancer experience. While medical treatment is stellar, there are so many after-effects of cancer and its treatment that cause changes to ones body, mind and spirit health. Wellspring Calgary is the only centre of its kind in western Canada that addresses the non-medical needs and changes that a cancer diagnosis can bring. Over 500 people accessed Wellspring Calgary’s services for the first time last year! And just $150 will provide free resources, support and programs for one member for one month!

Every dollar makes a difference in the lives of someone living with cancer. Please support me in my efforts to have an impact on someone’s life.

Thank you in advance!

You ROCK, you truly do!!!

Nuke”

 

Go Nuke!  We’re so lucky to have you as part of the family, practical jokes included.

Help Jerry reach his incredible $10,000 fundraising goal by donating here.

Ryan MacArthur

MacArthur, Ryan

Meet CN Police Constable Ryan MacArthur.  Ryan volunteered for Cancervive Cycle Tour for the first time in 2016.  As a member of our medic team, he was an indispensable member of the group.  We made such a good impression on Ryan that he decided to come back in 2017, this time as a rider!

Ryan was profiled in last year’s CN Spotlight (Oct 2016, page 5).  You can read about Ryan’s story and Cancervive 2016 experience here.

You can support Ryan as he gets ready to ride 600km with us through Banff National Park and foothills of Southern Alberta by donating here.

 

Patti Morris

Morris, Patti

Not only is Patti an extended family member of Cancervive and a rider in our annual Cancervive Cycle Tour several times over, she is also the Executive Director of one of our beneficiaries, Wellspring Calgary.

Cancer entered Patti’s life when her dad was diagnosed at 57.  He rallied.  Her family rallied.  Sadly, he was diagnosed very late in the game and he died when he was 58. Since then, like so many others, too many people Patti knows and loves have been impacted by cancer.

When John Stephure, a mentor and former colleague, told Patti that he, Rita, and Barbara were working to open a centre called Wellspring Calgary, she was interested. It made sense to her. She knew there was a need for people living with cancer – both those diagnosed and those who love and care for them – to receive support to address the issues and challenges that cancer brings.

Since opening our doors, ten years ago, Patti and the rest of the team at Wellspring Calgary have been profoundly aware of the privilege they have in walking this path with others. They have also been deeply mindful of the remarkable human beings they have been so fortunate to meet and get to know. They watch in awe, the strength their members summon and the resilience they exemplify.

And so, as they mark this ten-year milestone, Patti is joining the 6-day Cancervive Cycle Tour 2017 Challenge, and she invites you to join with her. This is personal for Patti.  She rides to celebrate all of the remarkable human beings who have walked this path and who will walk this path.  She rides to demonstrate her support for all those who are currently managing through cancer and to all those who are so sadly not with us any longer.  She rides to ensure that people have access to free, evidence-informed programs, resources, and support when they need them most – now from 2 centres in Calgary and soon, even more accessible to those across southern Alberta.

Patti invites you to join her on this personal journey to help her reach her fundraising goal of $10,000 as Wellspring celebrates 10 years of serving the community:

http://give.wellspringcalgary.ca/site/TR/Cancervive/General?px=1103858&pg=personal&fr_id=1300#.WPT6EPkrKpo

Congratulations Patti!

Tom Ebbern

Ebbern, Tom

Tom is one of the veterans.  He was one of the first board members with Wellspring Calgary and is still on one of their committees.  Both Tom and his wife Linda have been very supportive of Wellspring and Cancervive over the past several years with Linda volunteering and Tom riding on our tours.

Tom is probably the most ridden, longest standing supporter of Cancervive always ready to help others whether that’s by meeting their fundraising goals or by encouraging them from the bike.  Tom is a great ambassador and an all-around great guy with an infectious smile that rubs off on everyone.  Of course, many of us only get to see his back wheel as he pedals past us up the hills.  His dedication to the sport of cycling and to a healthy lifestyle, and for his zest for travel, are inspiring and motivating to say the least.

We’re lucky to call Tom part of our family.