Heather Jager joined the Sears Nation Kids Cancer Ride, ending her twelve day journey on June 28 in Halifax after starting in Vancouver.
“I met some really inspiring people, lots of kids who really wrench your heart out,” Jager said. “Everybody felt like family, it was hard to say goodbye.”
Biking a goal of 250 kilometres a day, she joined one of three groups of dedicated cyclists who trained for months, to help the fight to ending kids cancer.
Jager met up with families facing childhood cancer in every province, to “let the families know they aren’t fighting this alone, that there are people fighting on their behalf.”
“The cure rate for cancer is getting better, but there are still kids who unfortunately don’t make it and we want to put an end to that. Meeting the families along the way who are impacted definitely lays out the mind-set for the entire ride.”
Jager’s team alone rode over 2,500 kilometres over the twelve day run.
“To be honest, the physical part of the ride was a small part of the ride. There were days that were hard, but as a whole I think the group would tell you it’s the emotional part that is harder on your mind than the riding.”
Once in Halifax, it was announced the 36 riders who joined the ride had raised $1.5 million, the majority of which will go towards childhood cancer research.
Each rider had a minimum commitment of $25,000, and community riders raised a minimum of $100. Rider commitments were done on their own accord.
Jager says she would “absolutely” take part in the ride again, but logistically probably not next year, as she feels the fundraising money would not be available in the amount it was this year in a small community such as Delia.
“If I don’t ride next year, I will definitely be a volunteer.”
Jager laughs as she says she’d slacked off in training since the ride, “it’s hard to walk after you ride for 8 to 10 hours a day.”
Those interested in more details of the twelve day Sears Nation Kids Cancer Ride, Heather Jager blogged throughout her journey across Canada, and it can be viewed at www.heatherjager.snkcr.com