The emotional and gruelling roller coaster of the Tour de Rock began in earnest last week in Mill Bay.
The 2016 Cops for Cancer team, including West Shore RCMP Const. Elyse Patten, was announced in a ceremony at Shawnigan Lake School. Riders representing police departments, RCMP detachments and media, plus two guest riders, begin five months of training in preparation for their Island wide ride starting Sept. 24.
The 17-member team will start in Port Alice and criss-cross the Island, returning to Victoria for a gala finale on Oct. 7, all the while raising money for pediatric cancer research and support programs.
The two special guest riders for this year’s tour are Mena Westhaver and pediatric oncology nurse Anne Carrelli from Victoria General Hospital.
Westhaver’s son, Jack, was diagnosed with leukemia just before turning six and endured more than three years of treatment. While that regimen was tough, he always looked forward to going to Camp Goodtimes, the facility designed to provide sunshine for children going through treatment or in remission from cancer. Part of the team’s activities is to pay a visit to the camp and speak to young patients, in advance of starting the ride.
To sponsor a rider or find more information, visit tourderock.ca.