Five members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Ontario took part in the 500 kilometer Cops for Cancer bike ride in the Niagara region, which ran from September 16th to 20th.
The Cops for Cancer ride is a fundraising event where law enforcement and emergency services personnel cycle across regions and engage community's on-route in raising money for childhood cancer research and support services at the Canadian Cancer Society.
After biking 100 kilometers a day for five days, making stops along the way to visit with children, patients and other community organizations, RCMP O Division riders and two other important members of the RCMP ride team, reflect on their experience:
Assistant Commissioner Jodie Boudreau
"The Cops for Cancer ride was an amazing group experience. For me, the most meaningful part of the ride were the times when we stopped and met cancer patients; heard their stories, talked to their families. It was then that I truly knew how important it was for us to be supporting them, so much so, that I have committed myself to not only continuing to support the Golden Horseshoe ride but to support the expansion and grow the Cops for Cancer bike ride in Ontario."
Sergeant Jennifer Persichetti
"I did not know what to expect going into this ride, but at the end of the experience I had a greater appreciation for the impact of the work done by the Canadian Cancer Society and a renewed pride in our organization for coming together with other agencies for such a worthy cause."
Corporal Kelly McMullen
"The ride was an amazing experience and one I would highly recommend to any emergency service personnel looking for a great cause to contribute to and participate in. The highlight of the week for me was when our junior rider, a cancer survivor, led us on the final leg of our ride to the finish line. It was an emotional reminder of the reason we were riding and in that moment made all the time away from my own kids worth it."
Sergeant Nicole Noonan
"What an honour to be a part of a team of police officers and first responders from around the Golden Horseshoe, raising funds to support children and families who are battling cancer. I know this terrible disease touches all of our lives, so it was absolutely life changing for me to feel like I was hopefully making a small difference in someone else's life. 500 km was nothing compared to what some young people are going through, and I'd do it again in heartbeat. Thank you to everyone who supported us!"
Constable Peter Jackiewicz
"To summarise, my experience with the COPS FOR CANCER bike ride was very positive. I set out a big goal and challenged myself to ride 500 km, which I never would have achieved had it not been for the coaching and support I received from the other more experienced riders. It was rewarding to see so many children in schools raising money for the charity and cheering us on as we cycled across the region."
Constable Megan McLean
"I wasn't a cyclist, I escorted the group in a marked RCMP truck. I spent most of the week shaking my head in wonder at the effort and dedication shown by everyone involved in his event, but also thinking they were a little crazy for agreeing to ride 500 kilometers. Then we visited McMaster Children's Hospital and it all made sense. All of the kids and their families were amazing. I met a little girl who whose only concern was that her two sisters were still able to play and have fun. She was brave, selfless and maintained her positivity in the face of tremendous hardship. I feel privileged to have met her, and hope to take a more active role next year in Cops for Cancer: Tour de Golden Horseshoe."
Inspector Ann Koenig
"I have been on the Cops 4 Cancer TourDeGH Steering Committee for the past two years. My role is to work with the Canadian Cancer Society and Niagara Regional Police Service to facilitate RCMP's involvement on the ride. Although I do not participate in the ride, I am filled with pride at the rider's dedication and get a sense of joy and fulfilment knowing the money raised helps children in many different ways to fight and survive cancer."
RCMP O Division wishes to thank and congratulate our fellow riders from Niagara Regional Police Service, Hamilton Police Service, Halton Regional Police Service and Niagara EMS for a fantastic week and a job well done!