Note from Krista: Cherie is one of my closest friends. I remember being on our annual camping trip when she told me and our other girlfriend, Carolynn, she had "big news". Of course we both started shouting and over reacting thinking she was pregnant. Nope. She said "I am biking across Canada... and I'm leaving in two months". Um... do you own a bike? "Not yet" Um... have you been training? "No - but I will." Okay then. But if there is one thing I know about Cherie - she is one of the most determined, hardworking people out there. If she has a goal - she reaches it. So, in true Cherie form she set out to learn a new activity and to train in record time - and she did it! She biked across Canada raising funds for Children with cancer. And then that wasn't it - she kept doing rides for them (shorter rides a few days in length - but still incredible distances). And her husband, Pete, got the vision and he also rode across Canada. This year they're hoping to raise $1500 each (100 people to donate only $30/each) - which means they then will have raised $50,000 in total for this cause close to their hearts. I'm so impressed and proud of my friend!! As a nurse at Sick Kids in Toronto, she took her passion for the kids she works with daily - and found another way to use her own time to help them. You can read more about Cherie's ride HERE.
I am a mother of 3 and married to Pete for 12 years. I have worked at Sick Kids as bone marrow transplant nurse for 17 years. I love being a mom and love being intentional about spending time with family and friends. I enjoy being creative (scrapbooking, photography) and being active and enjoying the outdoors (kayaking, cycling, hiking, camping, canoeing, swimming). I enjoy nature, and animals. Random facts about me - I'll try anything once. I have went ski diving, water repelling down waterfalls in Panama.... and rode my bike across Canada! When I become passionate about things I tend to jump in with both feet
JustOne Way to Give Back:
My husband, Pete and I are riding again in Tour for Kids. The ride is a 3 day epic cycling journey raising funds and awareness for kids living with and beyond cancer. From Friday, August 14 - Sunday, August 16 I'll ride 100-200 kms/day in the Barrie area with hundreds of likeminded cyclists. We have set our fundrasing goal at $1500 each. This is a special year for us!!!! If we reach this years goals, together Pete and I will top $50,000 that we have raised for the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation. We are pretty excited about this! If you would like to help us get there this year you can donate HERE. I am so passionate to help these families. I have worked at the Hospital for Sick Children with these kids and families for over 17 years. This is just another way I can offer them support and love!
This is my 5th year riding in Tour for Kids - so you know I'm committed to the cause. The donations I raise for Tour for Kids will go specifically to Camp Trillium, Camp Quality and Camp Oochigeas, three very special and unique camp organizations dedicated to bringing laughter and smiles to thousands of children living with and beyond cancer. Remarkably, these camps do not receive any government funding so they must rely on donations to carry on their essential programs year upon year. And, without the efforts of Tour for Kids, 2 camps would have to shut their doors to campers.
This year I have really been thinking about why I ride? Why do I spend so much time on the bike training? Why do I go through the pain and exhaustion to ride these hills and long distances? Yesterday I realized once again the why to this crazy cycling thing we do.
I was sitting outside a patients room yesterday charting. I heard a young teen girl chatting with friends and family so proud of her dance trophies. I had noticed her earlier.. thin, patchy to no hair, innocent, a shy but brilliant smile despite her circumstances of being in hospital for many months already and undergoing mulitple tests and unpleasant medications each day. I had noticed her... but what jumped out to me as I listened to her brag about her dance trophies and ribbons was that she sounded exactly like my 11 year old daughter. That could be my daughter. I could be this family living here at the hospital going through this journey with my little girl. Cancer doesn't pick a certain demographic or race, it can happen to anyone at any time. This is why I ride so that hopefully the money for research can find a cure, it can find better protocols to treat cancer but also to support the rehabilitation after the cure. Funds also go to supportive programs to help moms, dads, siblings, grandparents, friends as cancer effects everyone in that childs life. I see progressbut I want to see this disease eradicated! It would be a pleasure to find a new job if no one ever had to hear the words "Your child has cancer." ever again. The funds for Tour for Kids also sends kids to camp. These camps are what a lot of these kids live for! It's a bright shiny spot in their often sick and challenging world of hospitals and tests. Camp puts smiles on their faces (and camp Ooch also works in hospital if they are not well enough to attend and outside camp.)
My parents always taught us this same lesson. There is always a way to get the job done but sometimes you have to be creative and think outside the box. Dreams can be achieved you just have to want them bad enough, work hard enough, pray continuously and at times trouble shoot a new way to do it! So I have my parents to thank for these lessons!
Whatever your passion, "giving back" whatever the sacrifice will always benefit you equally or even more in return. This will likely not be financially, but will benefit you in building character, driving your passions in life, grow your heart, give you unexplained and unmatchable joy, and add so much "brightness" to your life. You can really make a difference! And while making a difference in someone else's life it is always amazing that there's the added benefit that it changes your life in return!
JustOne More Thing:
It all started with National Ride across Canada. After that exposure Pete wanted to ride too. He saw the differences it made to these families and heard their stories. We financially can't do the cross canada ride each year (or afford the time it takes to train and fundraise) but we can still be involved in the organization each year by riding in Tour for Kids. So Pete and I have decided to continue to ride and be part of this "Coast to Coast" family. We hope that someday our kids can join us too! We will see. If they are passionate about another foundation or see another area they can help we will support them there too! We just want to show them that they can do anything they put their minds too and can help others in so many different ways.
You can read more about Cherie's ride HERE.
To find out more about Cherie's unique and amazing umbrella - check back tomorrow!
Know someone who is giving back and making our world a better place? We'd love to share their story and inspire others! Please share THIS LINK with them!