Six riders from the Victoria area cycled through Princeton on Aug. 16 to help raise awareness and funds for families living with ALS.
They began cycling 650 kilometres from Kamloops on Aug. 9, continuing throughout the Okanagan and finishing in Hope on Aug. 18.
“The ride was beautiful today, despite the constant headwinds and passing trucks. Motorists showed their support along the way by waving, cheering and friendly honks” said Trish Fougner, cyclist and organizer of the ride.
The plan for the ride was inspired by Cindy Lister, who lost her father to the disease. “Cycle of Hope has been my way of healing from the loss of my dad from this devastating disease. My goal is to raise awareness and much needed funds to find a cure for ALS,” said Lister.
Paralympic athlete David Cook is experiencing first-hand the effects of ALS. Cook, a silver medalist in sailing at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, has been diagnosed with a form of ALS, similar to that of physicist Steven Hawking. The disease has affected his legs, arms and core muscle groups.
“ALS is an illness that deteriorates the body over time but what it can’t do is take away my determination and desire to continue raising hope for other families dealing with ALS.”
ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a progressive neuromuscular disease in which nerve cells die and leave voluntary muscles paralyzed.
The six cyclists from Victoria include Lister, a teacher at Deep Cove Elementary School; Trish Fougner, owner of Foggygirl Consulting; Robin Farrell, Victoria morning radio show host; Sara Wegwitz, nurse educator at the University of Victoria; Brenda Houston-Paquette, independent consultant with Pampered Chef; and Shawn McKean, teacher at Lochside Elementary School. Coach for the team is Paul Robinson, who coached the Cops for Cancer teams for the last six years and was involved with the event since 1998.
To further support the ride and to find necessary funds to find a cure through ALS Canada, please visit the Cycle of Hope website at www.cycleofhope.ca