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Cops for Cancer rolls through Whistler

Annual cycling tour has raised over $300,000 for pediatric cancer research



Whistler RCMP Sgt. Rob Knapton was a little sore after the latest leg of the Cops for Cancer cycling tour, which raises money for pediatric cancer research.

“But really it’s inconsequential compared to what some of these kids have to go through when they’re battling cancer,” he said. “It’s well worth it for us.”

Knapton joined 33 other officers and first responders from across the Lower Mainland on the soggy Sunday morning ride from Squamish to Whistler, the latest stop on the Cops for Cancer Tour de Coast, running Sept. 21 to 29.

Cops for Cancer is an annual event that sees over 100 law enforcement and emergency personnel brave the tricky terrain and challenging conditions as they cycle up to two weeks across Vancouver Island, Northern B.C., the Sunshine Coast and the Fraser Valley.

The group, which counts personnel from the Vancouver and West Vancouver police departments, BC Sheriff Services, the RCMP, and BC Ambulance, has so far raised over $300,000 for pediatric cancer research and Camp Goodtimes, a summer camp for children and teens affected by cancer. Each rider has to raise a minimum of $6,000; the top earner this year was a paramedic who garnered over $18,000 in donations. The group expects to hit the $400,000 mark by the time the tour ends.

“It’s about fundraising, but it’s also about raising awareness of pediatric cancer research, cancer prevention and just really encouraging people to do what they can so kids don’t have to live with cancer,” explained Const. Jeff Palmer with the West Vancouver PD.

“It’s a special thing to be apart of,” he added. “It can be pretty emotional at times because you’re meeting families who are facing the battle of their lives.

“When you’re facing that fight of your life, it can mean a lot for people to know there is a community effort that is with you and supporting you.”

Knapton said the tour wouldn’t be possible without the support of local organizations like Whistler Blackcomb, which donated overnight accommodation to the riders, and the Marketplace IGA, which provided bagged lunches.

“It’s awesome to be apart of a team like this that is working hard for such a good cause,” he said.

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