Late brother inspires Tour de Rock rider

The 20th annual fundraiser ride takes place Sept. 23 to Oct. 6.

Tim Collins

VICTORIA NEWS

Chris Day was seven years old when his older brother, Andrew, was first diagnosed with cancer. Andrew fought the disease and went into remission, only to have it return a few years later.

Andrew died of leukemia when he was only 14 years old, and Chris was 12.

Now, 25 years later, Day works as a firefighter with the CFB Esquimalt fire service and, this year is participating as a guest rider in the 20th annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock to raise money to fight childhood cancer

“My brother wasn’t able to beat it, but his memory lives on and it’s one of the reasons I am so thrilled to be a part of this amazing fundraising project,” said Day.

Tour de Rock is an annual, two-week fundraising initiative which runs from Sept. 23 to Oct. 6 wherein 24 riders primarily police officers accompanied by a group of guest riders, cycle a thousand kilometre route from Port Alice to Victoria to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.

RELATED: Junior riders inspired Victoria reserve constable.

One of the funding targets of Tour de Rock is Camp Good Times, a camp funded by the Canadian Cancer Society for children and youth affected by cancer. That program, in particular, evokes memories for Day and serves as an inspiration for his ride.

“Andrew was one of the first kids to go to Camp Good Times and I remember how happy he was when he came back. It was so fantastic…I’ll never forget that,” said Day.

It’s not the first time Day has participated in a fundraiser related to cancer research. In 2012, prior to coming to CFB Esquimalt’s fire service, he worked at Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna where he participated in a rooftop camp-out to raise money for cancer research.

For Day, the physical challenge of the ride is not as much of an obstacle as it might be for some. A regular triathlete, he has significant experience in cycling that he feels has prepared him for the arduous training schedule followed by all Tour de Rock participants. For Day, it’s the emotional aspect of the ride that can be daunting.

“My junior riders are Hanna and Hailey Day (no relation to Chris). Hanna is seven years old, and had a rare stomach cancer. In the process of fighting that she ended up getting leukemia,” said Day, adding Hanna’s story resonates on a personal level.

Day’s come to learn the stories behind many of the 24 riders on the Tour de Rock team, as well as some of the stories of the junior riders, and realizes how each story is intensely personal and poignant. Those stories, and thousands more like them is the reason the fundraising efforts of the Canadian Cancer Society are so important.

“If we keep raising money like this, one day maybe we won’t have to tell kids they have cancer,” said Day.

For more information about the ride visit tourderock.ca.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

New Topaz Park plans include second Victoria skatepark

Splashpad, pickleball court and fenced off-leash parks being considered

Island Health sends out call to staff supervised consumption service in Victoria

Request for proposals open until January, site to open in late spring 2018

Saanich doubles price to provide fire dispatch services to Esquimalt

District of Saanich says it can no longer afford to subsidize service to smaller municipality

Transit bus loses control near Uptown shopping centre

One person was treated for a minor injury at the scene

High construction costs send Douglas bus lane project $2.2 million higher

But re-tendered bid process by Victoria secures lower bid for Hillside-to-Tolmie stretch

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

Introducing an in-depth look at who is affected and what can be done

WATCH: Victoria’s Hanukkah celebrations open at the B.C. legislature

Premier joins local Jewish community to mark first day of Festival of Lights

BC Ferries adds extra sailings for Christmas

More than 175 sailings are being added, including 130 between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

Proposed snowmobiles along Sicamous roads concern RCMP

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with proposed off-road bylaw in the B.C. Interior

‘Assemble your own meal’ kits grow into $120M industry in Canada

Kits offer a middle ground between eating out and grocery shopping

Millennials closing in as B.C.’s biggest wine drinkers

Generation X leads the way in current consumption of B.C. wine, as more wine drinkers are enjoying local varietals

Canadians lag behind Americans in giving to charity

Only one-in-five Canadians donated to charities in 2017

Pair of pubs in Nanaimo scrap straws

VIU Students’ Union Pub, Dinghy Dock Pub no longer put straws in drinks

One man in hospital following targeted shooting in Courtenay

A 57-year-old Courtenay man is in hospital with a gunshot wound following… Continue reading

Most Read