When several thousand cyclists set out from the Cloverdale Fairgrounds this Saturday, Surrey’s Karen Bob will be among them.
She’s joining the two-day, 200-km Ride to Conquer Cancer from Surrey to Seattle to help raise money and awareness for the B.C. Cancer Foundation.
It’s her first time cycling in the event, taking place Aug. 27-28, which is B.C.’s largest cycling fundraiser. It’s raised more than $70 million since 2009.
Here, in her own words, is Karen’s story:
My name is Karen Bob and I live in Surrey, BC. For the first time this August 27-28, I will participate in the Ride to Conquer Cancer presented by Silver Wheaton benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation.
I heard about the Ride to Conquer Cancer a few years ago but in early 2016, I was browsing the Ride’s website and thought about how cool it would be to be a participant in this two-day, 200-kilometre event throughout the Pacific Northwest. I, like many, know several people impacted by cancer. I was also so inspired by this community of people fundraising thousands of dollars for the BC Cancer Foundation, year after year.
My youngest daughter at age three was diagnosed with a blood disease and doctors had to do a bone marrow biopsy, as this disease often leads to leukaemia. Of course, as a mother, this is terrifying to hear. I wanted to do everything I could to save my daughter.
Thankfully, my daughter came out of the illness several weeks later. Sadly, though, she died at the age of 19 to causes unrelated to cancer.
In 2015, I lost a close friend to liver cancer. From the time he was diagnosed until his passing, my friend only lived a few months.
Prior to that, a dear friend died of brain cancer within 10 months of his diagnosis.
On my paternal side, my aunt was diagnosed with cervical cancer in the mid 1970s. Sadly, there were no treatment options for her due to the aggressiveness of the disease. Unfortunately, she did not survive. My kid sister and cousin also had cervical cancer, but their outcome was a positive one after undergoing effective treatment.
My father had prostate cancer, but thankfully survived. This year, he will celebrate his 85th birthday. He is my motivation, as he still lives an active lifestyle and never allowed the cancer diagnosis to take him down.
The saddest part of all this, though, is that my story is not unique. The Ride is a huge movement and I want to do my part to help raise money to conquer this awful disease. I have two grandchildren, as well, and I would hate to see my grandkids suffer.
Even though I am not a cyclist, I have joined Team Taylor and they have helped me kick start my training and fundraising. Two-hundred kilometres is nothing compared to what a cancer patient and their family go through.
I also want to encourage my children to gear up and do something to make a difference. I want them to see that they can take a challenge and say yes, because even though we are all just individual people, when we come together, we can make a huge impact.
We are a community, a community of fighters.
For more information about the Ride, visit conquercancer.ca! I hope to see you at the finish line!