Colwood man takes on Ride to Conquer Cancer for 11th year in a row

Team Finn has raised almost $3 million for BC Cancer Foundation

Rick Stiebel/News Staff

Experiencing what his family went through during his sister’s battle with cancer had a profound effect that left a lasting impression on Shawn Creamer.

“I was 13 at the time and it had quite an impact,” explained Creamer, who lived with his aunt for a few months while his parents stayed in Vancouver with his sister, Tracey, when she was undergoing treatment for leukemia. “We’re a very close family. It was a difficult time.

“That’s what really motivated me to help raise money to fight cancer,” said the Colwood resident preparing to participate in his 11th Ride to Conquer Cancer on Aug. 24-25. Riders will complete about 220 kilometres cycling from Vancouver to Hope. Creamer, a civilian contracts co-ordinator at CFB Esquimalt, is one of 14 people who have ridden in the event every year since its inception. “People before me who got involved in fundraisers like this are the reason my sister’s still alive.

Although it had been about 20 years since he had been on a bike, Creamer came across a BC Cancer Foundation pamphlet on the Ride to Conquer Cancer shortly after he purchased a new bike. He rode as an individual the first time he took part in the event, but decided to join Team Finn the following year, named in honour of a three-year-old boy who died from cancer. Finns’ legacy of “Run Jump Bounce Dance Sing Love Smile and Ride” has been a continuous source of inspiration for riders since he died in 2008.

READ ALSO: Victoria Fire Department honours three former chiefs with Ride to Conquer Cancer

“I heard Finn’s dad speak and I was really moved,” Creamer said. “Finn didn’t lose his battle. He lived with cancer and made the most of every moment. The speech really grabbed me and I joined Team Finn the next year.”

Creamer trains twice a week in preparation for the ride, mostly working on distance. “It’s great because it’s set up for all levels of skill,” he noted. They have pit stops every 20 or 30 kilometres and great medical and equipment support. Lots of people help out to make it work.”

Creamer is one of 40 of the 23,000 riders who have taken part in every Ride to Conquer Cancer. Team Finn, which averages between 20 and 100 riders a year, has raised $2,753,683. Creamer’s fundraising total so far is more than $30,000. “Getting the word out about the ride and raising awareness is critical. Everyone knows about the Tour de Rock, which is a great initiative, but the Ride to Conquer Cancer tends to fly under the radar,” he said. The money raised by Ride to Conquer cancer totals almost $96 million to date and helps the BC Cancer Foundation purchase equipment such as PET and CT scanners and other equipment and fund treatments that play a critical role in cancer care.

The fact his sister has been in remission for 32 years speaks volumes about the progress made, but he has also lost an aunt, uncle and two grandparents to cancer.

“They told my sister she may never be able to have kids and she has three,” he added. “We’re changing the story with every ride.”

Visit teamfinn.com for more information.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Pacific FC, Dodd’s Furniture team up for local food banks

CPL team offering one free ticket to Oct. 2 game for two non-perishable food donations

Historic camp celebrates 75 years in Sooke

Camp Barnard donated to Scouts Canada in 1944

Arguments ramp up against proposed Sooke daycare

Proposed Church Road facility clears the latest hurdle

UVic announces review into circumstances of fatal bus crash

Upcoming student trip on the same route not cancelled

Hundreds gather at fundraising kickoff for ‘Kings Park’ purchase

Campaign to raise $2.75 million for the District of Saanich underway

Third instance of Trudeau in skin-darkening makeup emerges

Another instance of Trudeau using makeup to darken his face has emerged, within 24 hours of the first

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

21 years: Grand Chief Stewart Philip to continue leading B.C. Indian Chiefs union

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip acclaimed as president of Union of BC Indian Chiefs

Murder charges laid after body pulled from Fraser River ID’ed as missing man

Accused also face one count each of attempted murder in connection with Rudy Johnson Bridge incident

B.C. MLA’s former constituency assistant charged with fraud, breach of trust

Charges announced Sept. 19 more than two years after Martin fired Desmond Devnich for alleged thefts

B.C. salmon farm inspection deal reached with Indigenous people

Monitoring to determine if any Broughton region farms stay open

RCMP seize $1.9 million in B.C. traffic stop

The driver and passenger were detained under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

The report describes the occasion as an ‘Arabian Nights’-themed gala event

Most Read