Victoria Hospice welcomes local man on his return from cross-Canada tour

Coast-to-coast cycling adventure honoured Victoria man’s late father

It’s not every day one gets to travel across the country — from Victoria to the tip of Nova Scotia — let alone on a bike.

But that’s exactly what Kane Mercer did, to draw attention to the need for support of hospice palliative care. Mercer’s ‘Ride for Rand’ was in honour of his father Randy, who passed away from cancer in Victoria Hospice five years ago.

Mercer kicked off his adventure from Gonzales Beach in May, arriving in New Glasgow, N.S. last month. With so many charities and organizations assisting cancer research, Mercer wanted to raise money for hospice, a place he could make a difference with his efforts.

“It was a cathartic experience for me, for sure,” he said. “Personally I feel a lot healthier. It helped me to get over some of the difficulties [of] the loss of my dad.”

While Mercer was cycling through the mountains of Alberta and the plains of Saskatchewan, staff at Victoria Hospice came across the story of Ian Bos. Two years prior, the New Glasgow man walked across the country – from his hometown to Victoria – in honour of his own father’s battle with cancer. That knowledge inspired Mercer to re-route his trip to finish at the Aberdeen Palliative Care Society, where he met Bos.

For University of Victoria grad Mercer, visiting Northern Ontario, the Bay of Fundy and P.E.I. were just some of the highlights of his first cross-country trip. “There were a lot of storms [along] the way,” he said. Mercer rode through rain in each of the 10 provinces. “But, it was great seeing the skies and the clouds coming in and the shifting weather.”

Mercer documented the whole adventure on a Go Pro strapped to his helmet and on his blog.

“I’ve always had a real faith in humanity,” he said. “It just reaffirms it, to go across to see coast to coast how nice and how supportive people were.”

A family in Radium Hot Springs whom Mercer chatted with one afternoon later found themselves in the same restaurant. They quietly paid his tab before Mercer could even say thank you.

Mercer’s mother, Cheryl, and brother, Aaron, joined hospice staff and volunteers on Wednesday to welcome him home as he rode in on his bike in front of Richmond Pavilion, 106 days after he began his journey.

“The care and the support that our father received here,” Aaron said of the hospice, “this is really to honour them.”

Mercer plans to volunteer at Victoria Hospice, to support what he feels is a chronically underfunded and neglected area of care.

And, returning phone calls, he laughed. “Student loans are calling.”

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria Curling Club, arena parking lot considered for new Crystal Pool location

Considering other vendors could cost Victoria first year of provincial and federal funding

City of Victoria to see 588 affordable housing units

Provincial funding is aiming to see 4,900 new mixed-income rental properties across B.C.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visits with Langford high school students

Students asked him questions about current political issues

New report finds B.C. victims of opioids crisis on lower of end of socio-economic spectrum

UVic scholar calls for decriminalization of drugs responsible for opioid crisis

‘Spread love’: UVic Pride replaces white supremacy posters in Victoria

Around 50 people walked through downtown on Nov. 12 to share posters of love

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

POLL: Have BC Ferry waits ever forced you to cancel your travel plans?

Many BC Ferry passengers heading out from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen on… Continue reading

Student arrested at Vancouver Island elementary school

Pupils never in danger, incident unrelated to the school

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

Racist slur cleaned off memorial at Qualicum First Nation graveyard

Site was hit by vandals on Friday; many immediately offered support and assistance

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Most Read