High above the Bollywood Banquet Hall at 8166 128 St. in Surrey, childhood cancer survivor Simran Sarai helped Delta Police Const. Ken Usipiuk kick off the annual Cops for Cancer Tour De Valley fundraising campaign on Friday.
Each fall, more than 100 law enforcement and emergency services personnel from across B.C. commit hundreds of hours of their own time to cycle thousands of kilometers across the province. Schools, organizations, businesses and individuals in more than 60 B.C. communities show their support by organizing fundraising events and activities and pledging to raise thousands of dollars.
Simran was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when she was six years old. Now 13, she has been five years free of the disease and spent Friday afternoon helping Usipiuk raise awareness for this year’s Cops for Cancer campaign.
Usipiuk spent the weekend camped out 15 metres above the mall on a scissor lift (left) to draw attention to the upcoming fundraising cycling tour.
Surrey and Delta riders take part in the Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley, which sees them cycle 900 kilometres over nine days from Tsawwassen to Boston Bar.
Over the years, Tour de Valley has raised more than $4 million. This year’s ride gets under way Sept. 26 and goes until Oct. 4.
Cops for Cancer aims to show families who have a child with cancer that they do not have to face their journey alone.
The first Cops for Cancer program started in 1994 when an Edmonton police officer with a shaved head posed for a photo with a young cancer patient. The officer wanted to support the boy, who was being ridiculed at school because of his hair loss. Other officers joined and Cops for Cancer was launched.
Cops for Cancer cycle tours have been running for more than 15 years since the inaugural one on Vancouver Island in 1998. Today, four tours that cover the province have raised more than $27 million to fund pediatric cancer programs and research.
For more information about Cops for Cancer and how you can support the cause, visit www.copsforcancerbc.ca