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Sears National Kids Cancer Ride – Meet National Riders in Ottawa

release by the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride

April 16, 2009 – National riders, Ken Cross of Kingston and Craig Senior of Ottawa, from the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride will visit Sears at the St. Laurent Shopping Centre, St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa on Sunday, April 19 from 1000h to 1500h. As part of several months of fundraising leading up to the cross-Canada ride in June, they will ride road bicycles mounted on stationary trainers for the five hours. The public can meet the riders, receive information, and contribute financially. The display will be located at the store entrance between Sears and the mall.

Ken Cross – “The New Normal” – Living with Cancer
I am honoured to have been selected as 1 of the 38 national riders for the 2009 Sears National Kids Cancer Ride. This is the longest charity cycling event on behalf of childhood cancer. I am proud to be able to say that 100% of donations made will go towards supporting local and national childhood cancer programs. At any one time cancer holds 10,000 children within its grip. With each dollar raised we can collectively fight with and for each child and give them a better chance of survival and also a better life after cancer. So, why do I ride for Childhood Cancer? Well, let me share my story.

On April 24, 2008 our family received a call that would change our lives forever. What was normal in life changed to what my wife and I call “The New Normal”, living with cancer. Earlier that day our 4 year old daughter Megan went to our family doctor as we suspected that something was wrong (lethargic, bruising, no appetite). At 11:10pm our family doctor called saying that we needed to get Megan to the hospital. My wife and I made our way down to Kingston General Hospital and by 12:30am we were told that they suspected that Megan had Leukemia, and at 3:30am the words that no parent should hear were spoken, “Your Child has Cancer”.

By noon time my daughter received her first of many bone marrow extractions, spinal taps, blood transfusions and chemotherapy (protocol). There were a lot of tears shed that day (and many days after) and for the first time in my life I felt helpless and unable to help my child fight an invisible menace. Cancer was holding my child hostage. Megan was diagnosed with AML Leukemia. To date she is in remission and hopefully will return to Sr. Kindergarten in January 2009.
She is not the only child affected by cancer. I’ve met a lot of great kids and families at the cancer clinic and other support groups. I’m riding for Megan. I’m riding for the kids in Kingston. I’m riding for the kids I will meet along the way. They are the fuel that will keep me going from Vancouver to Halifax. They are my inspiration. I will not fail them.

Please help support the many children in Canada with Cancer with a charitable donation so that I may reach my personal goal of raising $50,000. I believe in miracles and this can happen. For contributions over $20.00, a charitable tax receipt will be issued by the foundation. Together we can make this Dream Real.

“Dreams are made if people only try. I believe in miracles. I have to”¦ because somewhere the hurting must stop”. (Terrance Stanley Fox)

Craig Senior – “I Just Gotta do This!”
Growing up in Newfoundland, I always loved bicycles. I loved pedaling fast and coasting down hills with my shirt unbuttoned pretending to be Batman. While still in high school, my neighbour Wayne Barry invited me on a tour with the St. John’s Cycling Club. I loved it! I rode, trained, and started racing. I competed in the Atlantic Championships. The highpoint was attending a training camp at the Montreal Vélodrome.

After moving to Ontario in 1982 my cycling faded (I don’t know why) until I no longer rode. The dust gradually thickened on my bike and I forgot how much I loved to ride. 23 years later, In 2005, my son Brandon and I flew to Newfoundland to connect with our roots. We visited a neighbour, Beth, for whom I babysat about 30 years ago. Inspired by my riding, her son, Guy, got into cycling in a big way. He won the Eastern Canada Cycling Championships, rode the Tour de l’Abitibi, and competed at the Canada Summer Games! Flipping through his scrapbook and watching his videos inspired me. After I returned to Ottawa, I dusted off my bike, went on a short ride, exhausted after 10 km. I built up to commuting the 46 km round trip to work.

In 2006, I joined the Ottawa Bicycle Club, going on day tours. The longest was 235 km. In 2007, I rode about 10,000 km, building a comfortable cardio fitness base. 2008 was less intense and I opted for more solo rides. One morning I headed west and wound up south in Cornwall for lunch. Another time, friends in Montreal kindly put me up for a night. The longest ride was the 306 km Animalathon East. Chamois butter REALLY works!

On one group ride I overheard someone talking about a ride across Canada for kids cancer. I decided, “I must do this!” At the time, I had no idea why. I just had to do this.

Later, gave my participation a why. I am riding in memory of my Mom, taken from us in 1993 by cancer. She always boasted about her son the cyclist who was always golden in her eyes. I am also honouring other friends and family members, some taken by, some living with, and some living beyond cancer. As a parent of two sons, Josh and Brandon, I hope my participation in this ride gives them the ideas of making a difference and doing really cool things. As that same parent, I am especially doing this for the children and families who are being touched by cancer. If I can make a real difference for one, then it is worth it.

“Get it right this time around. Because this time”¦ is all you have.”” Prot, from the movie K-PAX.

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