Sears National Kids Cancer Ride

Why ride Sears National Kids Cancer Ride a third time?

Why ride a third time?

That’s obvious – the job isn’t yet done and kids are still being diagnosed with cancer, suffering and dying of cancer.

That’s unacceptable.

It’s now March 2017. Hopefully spring is around the corner and I can start to venture outside to start training for a third trip across Canada. This time it’s Team 2, and 200 – 300 km a day for 18 days. And the two reasons for doing this are to raise money to support kids and families with cancer, and to raise awareness for kids with cancer.

I have to admit that I’m excited about doing this – and very serious too. I know how much training it takes to get into shape for this, and this will be more so. I’m also aware that i am 4 years older and over the “50” hill. I creak a little more in the mornings, I hurt a little more after the gym and i don’t bounce back as easily as i did when i was 30. That’s why i have to take care of myself. Just like the kids who survive have to take care of themselves, since many of them creak in the mornings and don’t bounce back like they should.

You see – even when they’ve been cured of their cancers, kids don’t just go back to normal. They have ongoing problems – problems caused by the cancer itself, or the treatments that enabled them to survive. That’s a two-edged sword: to survive, but to have an albatross around your neck for life. This could be something very physical, like a scar, or an amputation. Or it could be something internally, such as a heart problem caused by chemotherapy, or something psychological, such as a post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or memory problems. This isn’t fair, and our survivors need help to deal with these issues. It’s distressing to know that, for many, these problems can go unanswered as survivors are often beyond their kids cancer team, and into the adult world, where most just don’t understand what they’ve been through and the special problems they are carrying around with them.

This is the third big challenge for them: three challenges:

First challenge = fighting the cancer and being cured

Second challenge = avoiding the cancer coming back and getting back to “normal”

Third challenge = surviving the rest of your life

So for me – I’ve done the first two challenges. The first ride was tough – I had no idea what i was doing, but by the end I was a pro, and finished the ride and the challenge with my team. The second ride was easier – at least i knew the ropes, and could help everyone else complete the challenge. The third ride is the new adventure for me – Team 2. Faster and farther and harder. I know what I’m facing but it’s new territory. Just like survivorship.

This third ride is for the survivors. Those kids who beat their cancers, and are surviving. Some flying high, but others just scraping by. Many of them forgotten over the years. But they still need us all.

That’s why I’m riding a third time. Support me and make the fight mean something

Please consider donating at www.snkcr.com/brucecrooks

Thank you.

Bruce