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Bike ride raising money for children with cancer

Tour of Hope Reunited Presented by SANG will go from Grande Cache to Bow Summit and last four days starting June 8. | Supplied photo

Peter Shokeir | editor@fitzhugh.ca

Cyclists will ride through Jasper, going from Grande Cache to Bow Summit with the goal of raising $150,000 for families that are battling childhood cancer.

Tour of Hope Reunited Presented by SANG will have 20 cyclists and last four days starting June 8.

“A group of cyclists want to raise funds and awareness for the society by completing a challenging, long-distance cycling adventure,” said Madison McElligott with the Kids with Cancer Society.

Starting in 2002, Tour of Hope is one of the signature events for the Kids with Cancer Society.

While some individuals raised money on their own, the society wasn’t able to host group fundraising ride in the past two years due to COVID.

“We’re very exited to be going on our first one here since 2019, back on the road to get everyone together and raise awareness and fundraise for our families,” McElligott said.

Cyclists typically go 100 to 150 kilometres per day.

The race has been hosted in various different places each year and has gone through Jasper several times in the past.

“It’s quite the journey, it’s quite the challenge, but everyone’s up for it, and we have a support crew along the way to be there for the cyclists at any point that they need,” McElligott said.

Jasper resident Janka Kozacikova, who has cycled in five previous Tour of Hope events, will be riding in this year’s race with her husband.

Her goal was to raise $5,000, but she has already reached $15,000 with help from friends, family, local residents and businesses.

Kozacikova acknowledged that Tour of Hope could be difficult for cyclists to undertake.

“It’s easy to ride 150 kilometres for one day, but it’s really tough to get on your bike on day four, especially if it’s raining in the morning or it’s cold, and you’re already quite sore and your muscles are exhausted,” she said.

“I want to say it’s easy, but it’s actually quite hard.”

Tour of Hope participants are often parents of a child who is sick or recently diagnosed, or they may be riding in memory of a child who recently passed.

Kozacikova will be riding in honour of Declan, who is now 13 years old.

Although registration has closed, donations can still be made at https://kwc.akaraisin.com/ui/tourofhope2022

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