Growing up in Victoria, Brent Hilborne remembers seeing the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock ride through his school each year, rallying support for the Canadian Cancer Society’s annual fundraiser for pediatric cancer research.
The former Reynolds Secondary School student, now a constable with the Victoria Police Department, has always been inspired by what the organization does for children affected by cancer and says he is fortunate to be a part of that difference this year as a tour rider.
“Every year, especially growing up in Victoria, to see the Tour de Rock riders go year after year (is inspiring),” Hilborne says. “My colleagues rode year after year and I definitely look up to them and all the work they’ve done for it, and it was just something I wanted to be a part of to make a positive change to my community.”
Hilborne’s decision to be part of this year’s Tour de Rock team comes from a feeling of frustration with the disease — an illness he believes is important to fight for children who are diagnosed with cancer without ever having put themselves at risk for it.
“Everyone is touched by cancer in some way… whether it’s a family member, them personally, or a friend,” Hilborne says.
Particularly frustrating to Hilborne is the story of his junior rider, Hannah Day. The five-year-old was thought to have overcome both stomach cancer and leukemia, but recently relapsed and is currently fighting cancer for the third time.
It’s knowing how strong Day and others like her are in their fight against cancer that motivates Hilborne to do all that he can for pediatric cancer research and support programs such as Camp Goodtimes.
“When you’re going out for training rides or you’re doing some fundraising and you think you’re life is hard or you’re a little bit tired, you just think about what a girl like her is going through or any of our junior riders,” Hilborne says. “It’s pretty good inspiration to work hard and do what you can (to help).”
Knowing that the riders have support from local residents also helps to fuel Hilborne’s efforts.
The feeling of community makes Hilborne proud to be a part of this year’s tour.
“Just seeing the massive amount of community support that’s out there, it’s unbelievable,” he says. “When we go out for training rides or we’re doing a fundraising event in the community, everyone comes out, says hi, and they’re super supportive. It’s a great feeling to know all these people have got your back and are out there to help you, too.”
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