Submitted Photo The Cowichan Life Cyclers, seen here in 2016, are once again participating in this upcoming weekend’s 200-kilometre Cycle of Life Tour. The fifth annual event has raised over $360,000 for end-of-life care.

‘Dignity to choose’: Ladysmith woman cycling 200km to raise money for hospice care

A Ladysmith woman is among those participating in this weekend’s fifth annaul Cycle of Life Tour – a 200 kilometre ride to raise funds and awareness for quality pallative care across Vancouver Island.

“It’s really important to have the choice and the dignity to choose how you’re going to live your last few days and that’s simply the main message for me,” said Christy Villiers

The mother of four used to mountain bike and got involved in the Cycle of Life ride on the advice of a friend.

“As I researched it, it was definitely one that I felt was really important because of the cause and one that I plan on doing every year,” she said.

Click here to sponsor Christy Villiers on her Cycle of Life Tour

She is part of the Cowichan Life Cyclers, who will be among the 80 riders touring across Saanich Inlet, Cowichan Valley and Salt Spring Island in support of eight hospices on Vancouver Island. Since 2011, the ride has raised over $360,000 for end-of-life care.

“The ride is so well supported and you meet a lot of interesting people,” she said. “After that ride I’ve done quite a few group supported rides and this one is by far the best…it’s a really well organized ride.”

Villiers and fellow rider Rebecca McKenzie hosted a fundraiser at the Sawmill TapHouse at the beginning of June and raised almost $2,000.

Creating a pallative care facility in the Valley is a longterm goal of Cowichan Hospice.

Villiers is a project director and community researcher for Social Planning Cowichan and said hospice care is something that impacts us all.

“Everybody will eventually have to use the service,” she said. “You should have choices on how you want to leave or that your family can be around you.”

To learn more about the tour visit www.cycleoflifetour.ca.

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