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 BC Transit driver taken to hospital after assault

Driver attempted to stop an altercation between two people on the bus

Art takes a personal tone during the 110th anniversary of the Victoria Sketch Club

The 47th annual art show is taking place until March 24

CRD’s 2019 financial plan includes 23 per cent increase for capital projects

Housing, health care and wastewater projects included in 2019 plan

How a scrawny kid from Oak Bay bulked into one of rugby sevens’ best

Doing it for Dylan, Oak Bay’s Connor Braid at the top of his game

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Most Read