Tour de Rock opens our eyes

We're lucky to share in some of the heart-warming stories when the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock comes to Ladysmith each year.

As you pick up your paper today, the Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock will have swept through Ladysmith in a blaze of colour, noise and good feelings.

From Sept. 22 to Oct. 5, the Tour de Rock team cycles from one end of Vancouver Island to the other, hitting almost every community along the way. As they cover 1,000 kilometres on two wheels, the riders participate in a variety of community events and celebrations, talking about the Tour de Rock, listening to people’s stories and generally bringing people together for one common cause.

The Tour de Rock raises money for pediatric cancer research and programs for children with a history of cancer. Each rider accepts donations on behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society’s B.C. and Yukon Division. The riders’ fundraising efforts also help keep places like Camp Goodtimes in Maple Ridge in operation. Camp Goodtimes is a place where children are given the opportunity to get away for a while, forget about their daily struggles with cancer and enjoy life again.

“They can talk to other kids who have survived what they are now experiencing and get pointers on things most people would never consider,” according to the Tour de Rock website. “It’s a place where kids can take a wig off in public for the first time and feel they won’t be judged. It’s a place where kids can just be kids.”

The Tour de Rock does so much good. It raises a lot of money to give kids a better future, and it also opens our eyes to the suffering children with cancer and their families go through. You always hear how the riders’ lives were changed by the people they met along the 14-day journey and by the stories that touched their hearts. We’re lucky to experience some of that when the riders come to town each year.

— The Chronicle