Eighteen members of the Victoria Fire Department (VFD) joined the thousands of participants in this years Ride to Conquer Cancer last month for the third consecutive year.
Jeff Cullen calls the ride a celebration of the team’s honest efforts, fundraising throughout the year for a cause that is close to the heart of all the firefighters at the department.
In the past couple years alone the Victoria Fire Department has lost former chief Richard Couch and Doug Angrove as well as firefighter, Stan Thame.
Firefighters have a nine per cent higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer and a 14 per cent higher risk of dying from cancer than the general population according to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network.
Cullen says it’s something that weighs heavy on the minds of many of his friends and colleagues he works with.
“I think there’s a very strong underlying understanding of how unfortunately common cancer can be for us,” he says.
In June the department held its annual Gala for Hope, the main fundraiser in support of the B.C. Cancer Foundation, which saw hundreds attend. The name takes on a special meaning as the 200 km ride ends in the community of Hope.
Beginning at the starting line in Cloverdale, the team rode at a pace of about 30 km per hour for 118 km the first day and another 106 km the second day — bringing their total ride to 224 km. Stopping for the night in Chilliwack the team, along with the many other riders, were treated to a dinner, beer gardens and most importantly showers.
This year’s ride was the first with no spills and only one minor issue, a blown out tire. The team raised $93,00, bringing their total fundraising to $325,000.
Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.