Posted on: 28 Jul 2015
Name: Evelyn and Brent Wilson
Hometown: Carrying Place, Ontario
How long have you been involved with CTCACF, and how did you first get involved? Since 2011 – Evelyn saw a post on Facebook about needing volunteers for the upcoming Tour for kids. It was just 5 months after Katie passed away and Brent became part of the crew team and Evelyn helped on the last day .
However- our first experience with Tour for kids was actually the very first one as my brother in law took part in the first ride. We cheered him on as they went by our house on the way to Camp Triullium in the county. We have pictures from Katie dancing with kids from the camp at the final event. How ironic that years later, she would benefit from Camp Ooch and we would be so involved with CTCACF
Why do you continue to be involved with CTCACF? We continue to be part of this amazing organization because as a family we have benefited from the organizations that the money goes towards. We know that it makes a huge difference for the families. We also want to continue to fight the battle so other families won’t face what we have faced. We saw first-hand the smile on our daughter’s face when the camp staff worked with her at the hospitial, we saw first-hand how our son had a great time at Camp Teomul (the camp for bereaved siblings). The other huge factor is the fact that 100 percent of donations actually are donated. Working alongside such great staff and volunteers is also so fun and rewarding.
What do you hope your work with CTCACF will accomplish? When we volunteer for this event, we hope that it spreads the word that we want to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer. We want people to know that this organization is one that makes a difference in the lives of so many kids and their families.
If you could be a superhero, what would your superhero name be? Determinator (determined to fight childhood cancer)
If you could have dinner with 1 historical figure, who would it be, and why? I would love to have dinner with Terry Fox. He has been my hero since the day he came into the news. He was so humble and his passion for making a difference is so inspiring. It is so ironic that for someone I consider my hero, who would have known that 30 years after he started my own daughter would be fighting the same cancer ( osteosarcoma) .
Tell us something about you most people don’t know: I am terrified of mice and bats
Describe CTCACF in 3 words to someone who wants to know what it’s all about: Inspiring, Powerful, Passionate.
Posted on: 09 Jul 2015
Camp Oochigeas and POGO are pleased to present the 3rd Life After Childhood Cancer Survivor Conference, to be held the weekend of October 16-18, 2015 at Camp Oochigeas in Muskoka. This unique event is designed for survivors of childhood cancer (diagnosed before age 18) now aged 19 years or older, and offers a combination of:
- Educational talks on living well after cancer, presented by survivors and health professionals
- Small workshops where participants can engage in group discussions about topics of interest to their health and wellbeing
- Fun and relaxation – with onsite activities like canoeing, climbing, archery, arts and crafts, cooking and more, there’s something for everyone
- And most importantly: the opportunity for childhood cancer survivors to meet others and connect in a warm and supportive environment!
About the 2013 event:
Camp Ooch and POGO last hosted the Life After Childhood Cancer Survivor Conference in October of 2013. Just under 100 childhood cancer survivors of all ages and stages of life attended, and 100% of attendees surveyed reported that they would attend this event again. Visit the POGO website at http://www.pogo.ca/category/education-for-survivors/ for a recap video featuring highlights of the 2013 event and to watch filmed educational presentations.
About the venue:
Camp Ooch is located on a gorgeous 400-acre property on a private lake in the Muskoka region, roughly two and a half hours north of Toronto. All facilities are wheelchair accessible and a staff-driven all-terrain vehicle is available at all times to help with getting around the site. Transportation options to help survivors get to Camp Ooch will be made available.
Learn more and register:
Please visit http://www.pogo.ca/programs-support/survivor-care/survivor-conference-2/ to download a conference information package, including the event program and some frequently asked questions and answers.
The registration fee is $75.00 and includes all meals, snacks, accommodations, activities, conference booklets and welcome bags.
Register online at: http://www.pogo.ca/programs-support/survivor-care/survivor-conference-2/registration/
REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2015
Posted on: 06 Jul 2015
1) Name: David V
2) Hometown: Toronto
3) How long have you been involved with CTCACF, and how did you first get involved?
I’ve been riding with CTCACF since 2007 after seeing day 4 of Tour for Kids 2006 as I rode across Canada.
4) Why do you continue to be involved with CTCACF?
Great charity with fun events and a great cycling route each year.
5) What do you hope your work with CTCACF will accomplish?
I want to help kids with cancer anyway I can.
6) If you could be a superhero, what would your superhero name be?
One-Legged Dave , Defender of Kings.
7) If you could have dinner with 1 historical figure, who would it be, and why?
Eddy Mercekx. Hopefully he can make me faster up those hills!
8) Tell us something about you most people don’t know.
I had 42 cycling jerseys in my closet this year.
9) Describe CTCACF in 3 words to someone who wants to know what it’s all about.
Most fun ride ever. That’s four, but I don’t follow rules!
Posted on: 26 Jun 2015
Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer is a charity which provides support to families in hospital, at home, and throughout all stages of their child’s cancer journey. OPACC was created by parents to respond to these issues – to let them know they are never alone! Below is a story of 1 family and how they were touched by OPACC’s programs, including the Parent Liason Program, which your donations to Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation help fund.
OPACC is an organization made up of parents, friends, and family who have walked our paths before us. This is exactly what sets them apart from other organizations. They know and understand our journey when most of our loved ones cannot. They anticipate our needs before we anticipate our own.
Meals have come without asking and were a welcomed relief. Conversations were easy and without judgement. And friendships grew in the most unexpected ways. John, in particular, can always find a way to make Sachi smile through jokes or play. Over the span of a year it’s been quite amusing to see how the two of them have learned to greet one another by sticking out their tongues! These are the relationships which have eased our minds and helped us feel “normal” again.
There were moments at the hospital where our minds would head towards the dark side and without our Parent Liaisons, our journey could have been much longer and darker than it was. The support offered by OPACC has been invaluable to our family and so many other families whose lives this humble grassroots organization has touched. If that’s not enough, OPACC’s compilation of resources has kept us organized, taught us how to manage our emotional rollercoasters, and have kept us informed of events where we could go and have fun with the family in a safe zone. Families touched by childhood cancers are such a small community and OPACC has a vision to do so much more. It’s important that we all stay connected and support these kinds of initiatives in order to pay our experiences forward.
Posted on: 26 Jun 2015
Camp Trillium is one of 3 pediatric cancer camps in Ontario- a special place for children and families dealing with cancer. Your donations to Coast to Coast Against Cancer help support their amazing programs. Below is the story of the Tiessen family’s journey with cancer, and how Camp Trillium holds special place in their heart- thanks to you!
Camp Trillium is such a special place to our family. It is the best place in the world that you never want to be invited to. We have been going to camp since 2006 when our son, Cole, was diagnosed with Leukemia. Hearing this kind of news about your nine year old child is devastating. In the blink of an eye life changed, not only for Cole, but for the entire family. Cole was diagnosed as a very high risk ALL (leukemia) patient. This meant he had to undergo 25 months of chemotherapy and cranial radiation. Cole was in and out of the hospital quite a bit throughout the first year of his treatment program.
We remember the first time that we pulled up to Camp Trillium. The welcome that we received from the counselors was so warm and enthusiastic that as parents, it filled us with so much emotion and gratitude. We were going through something awful, and Camp Trillium felt like a place that was created just to help bring some joy and normalcy back to our family. Words could never express how grateful we are for the years of fun, kindness, and compassion that we have experienced at camp.
Camp Trillium has given us, as adults a great excuse to take some time to just play and have fun. It is a place that has something for everyone. No one ever feels left out at Camp Trillium and after missing school trips, cancelling family vacations and spending holidays in the hospital, which is worth more than most will ever understand. We can honestly say that every experience that we have had at camp has been a very positive one. We love the Camp Trillium morning radio show, the polar bear dip, campfires and of course the parent vs. counselors hockey game! When we pick up our kids from residential camp, the positive energy on the car ride home is infectious. Most special of all is the goodnight song. It has been over six years since we first heard the goodnight song and to this day Steve cannot listen to it without tears coming to his eyes.
To the counselors at camp – never underestimate what an important job you have. You have touched our lives in such a positive way. You are the greatest thing about the camp, what you do is special and you should be proud of yourselves. We have always said that the youth that work at camp are the cream of the crop. Our special friends have all been incredible people who were cheerfully willing to do whatever the kids wanted to do with them.
Camp Trillium has given our children so many awesome experiences. As our children have grown, they have wanted to keep Camp Trillium in their lives. Our oldest Luke, became a counselor last year; this year Cole (he is doing great by the way) and Monica are hoping to get accepted into the internship program; and, our youngest Sarah is saying that she too wants to be a counselor one day. Thank you Camp Trillium from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing experiences that you have given our family!!!
Posted on: 24 Jun 2015
Today’s 7 questions features someone who’s done it all- he’s an ambassador, volunteer, and rider! He’s ridden from Vancouver-Halifax, spun on stage at Bike for Tykes, and done Tour for Kids Ontario! A childhood cancer survivor himself, we’re glad to have him as a member of the Coast to Coast family.
1) Name: Josh Nelson
2) Hometown: Cambridge, Ontario
3) How long have you been involved with CTCACF, and how did you first get involved? I got involved in 2009, when I gave a speech to all the riders!
4) Why do you continue to be involved with CTCACF? I continue to be involved with CTCACF because when I was going through my cancer, they helped me. It’s because of them that I am the man I am today. Also, I believe in a destination beyond cancer!
5) What do you hope your work with CTCACF will accomplish? I hope that with my help, we will one day reach that destination beyond cancer!
6) If you could be a superhero, what would your superhero name be? My superhero name would be Wheely Man
7) If you could have dinner with 1 historical figure, who would it be, and why? I would love to have dinner with Rick Hansen- he is a huge inspiration and a hero to me.
8) Tell us something about you most people don’t know: I like puzzles, and I’m pretty good at them too.
9) Describe CTCACF in 3 words to someone who wants to know what it’s all about: Childhood Cancer Charity
Posted on: 18 Jun 2015
To All in the Coast to Coast Family,
We are all involved with this wonderful charity because we know or know of someone who, along with their family, is in desperate need. I got involved in 2010 because of my son’s classmate Laura Hillier and the Hillier family. She told her own story of becoming ill and recovering in 2010:
Sadly, a few weeks ago Laura relapsed and once again has AML. Laura is again faced with intensive chemotherapy but, this time, will also require a bone marrow transplant. It is critical that a suitable donor be found in the next several weeks. Nelson High and her former elementary school, Pineland, are rallying around the family. On Friday over 120 Nelson people registered at a rush Bone Marrow Donor clinic – those like Laura need many more. For some the odds are as large as 1 in 10,000.
Working with Rick Goldring, Burlington’s Mayor, and multiple others we mobilized on several fronts to encourage people to register for bone marrow and/or blood donation on behalf of Laura – but for all in need. According to the Canadian Blood Services, it takes 8 blood donors a week to support one leukemia patient let alone all others. A bone marrow donor test is a simple cheek swab.
You can help all by doing the above at any Canadian Blood Service clinic and, if anyone is attending the Burlington Sound of Music Festival this weekend (Hillier’s and my home town), drop by the Canadian Blood Services tent we have arranged (non-profit section) to say hello and send a note to Laura in a personalized Book of Wishes her friends made and we will have on hand.
Posted on: 17 Jun 2015
Coast to Coast Against Cancer supports a variety of charities through its fundraising events. These organizations provide support across the various aspects of childhood cancer- from family support, to camping, to research. YOU are helping make these programs possible through your support.
One of these great groups, a partner since 2011, is Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer (OPACC), whose overall goal is to be the parent voice for families with children diagnosed with cancer across the Province of Ontario. OPACC is made up of parents, guardians, survivors, or close relatives of children and teens diagnosed with childhood cancer. They provide support to families in hospital, at home, and throughout all stages of their child’s cancer journey. Childhood cancer has a devastating effect on parents, siblings, extended family, friends, and their communities. Those who survive often require ongoing psychosocial, physical, and financial support. OPACC was created by parents to respond to these issues – to let them know they are never alone!
Last year alone, over 850 families affected by childhood cancer were supported through OPACC. They currently average 140 new families per year. The programs that supported these families include:
Family Support Services
This is the program that donations to the Toronto Inside Ride National Tour stop supports! The Parent Liaison program at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto offers families of children with cancer in-hospital support and a wealth of free information and resources, including information on hospital services, parent support groups, weekly drop-ins, and one-on-one support for parents. Parent Liaisons are professionals and parents who have already undertaken a childhood cancer journey and understand the impact a diagnosis has on the entire family. As OPACC grows, the goal is to continue to establish more Parent Support Groups throughout Ontario, as well as bring the Parent Liaison Program to other Pediatric Cancer Centres.
OPACC works in collaboration with others across Ontario to build a network of community-based Parent Support Groups to ensure that families are supported both in hospital as well as back in their local communities. They support the growth and development of new and existing groups, and currently have groups in areas including Barrie, Kitchener-Waterloo, Newmarket, and Hamilton.
Through work in partnership with other childhood cancer and healthcare organizations from across the Province and at the National level, they are making a difference in the lives of children affected by cancer and their families. Some of the important topics that OPACC has and continues to advocate for include: E.I. legislation for benefits to Parents of Critically Ill Children; reduced hospital parking rates; representation for childhood cancer survivors in the latest Ontario Cancer Plan; supporting the educational needs of children with cancer.
The best way to sum up the impact of your donations and OPACC’s work is through the words of a parent: “Thank you so much for being there at the hospital all these weeks and months and years. You have always been such a source of comfort and reassurance for me.” -Jeanne Z.
Posted on: 13 Jun 2015
Sears Canada and Coast to Coast Against Cancer have a long history of working together to help children and families impacted by childhood cancer. We sat down with Alicia Richler, who is Director of the Sears Canada Charitable Foundation, to learn about how Sears became involved, and what makes the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride so special!
Sears Canada has been supporting charitable efforts since the Company was founded in 1953, with the singular focus of after school youth development. By the early 2000’s, they wanted to expand to a health related cause as well, and they discovered that childhood cancer is extremely underfunded. When Jeff Rushton, founder of CTCACF, was introduced to the leadership team at Sears they knew Sears was a match with our mission.
The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride was the first connection between Sears and childhood cancer, and they were drawn to the 100% donation model that sponsorship enabled- it meant that while they covered event costs, every receiptable donation made would go directly to making a difference in the lives of children and families impacted by childhood cancer!
Sears, being a national company, really wanted to partner with an event and cause that had a national impact. As the riders pedal across the country, they’re greeted by the many Sears Department, Home store, Hometown and catalogue locations in cities and small towns. These are places where riders are welcomed, fed, and made to feel at home on the road! Returning riders and volunteers have come to expect and look forward to seeing certain staff and being fed the same amazing meals year over year- this continual support makes the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride a family of participants and supporters.
Every year, Sears stores adopt a rider from the national team. When “their” rider comes into town, the staff get extremely excited to meet the person who they’ve supported through fundraising, and has really put a face on the event for them. This has been a great way to engage Sears staff with something outside of their day to day work with the company. The riders are also excited to meet their stores and staff, as well as all the children and families who come out to greet them.
Some of the national riders and volunteers who come back over and over again are Sears employees, and they keep us deeply connected. Carlo Di Domizio has either ridden or volunteered every year since 2008, and Ken Cross will be riding for his 5th year in 2015, having joined us after his daughter’s diagnosis of leukemia in 2008 (she’s doing great, 5 years after her bone marrow transplant). Carlo and Ken, among many other Sears employees, are strong members of the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride family.
There are also stores who are deeply involved in the cause. In Fredericton, Jill Painter spreads word of the event throughout the entire community, and involves the fire and police departments late at night in greeting the riders every year, making it a very memorable stop near the end of the ride every year! Alicia told the story of the group’s arrival at Sears in Fredericton after a long day in 2013, greeted by 2 little girls aged 3 ½ years old, who had become friends during treatment at the IWK Hospital in Halifax, and how their joy and enthusiasm helped melt away all the other things that happened that day. These are some of the things that make this ride so meaningful to riders, volunteers, and our Sears partners.
When asked to sum up Coast to Coast Against Cancer in 3 words, Alicia selected the famous words of Jeff Rushton: “Feel the love!”. And we certainly feel the love from Sears in their support of the national ride, and the foundation.
Posted on: 29 May 2015
1) Name: Johnny Dela Cruz
2) Hometown: Oro-Medonte, ON
3) How long have you been involved with CTCACF, and how did you first get involved: 2014 I did the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride. I got involved because of my husband’s nephew who battled cancer at the age of 3, and is now 11 and currently in remission!
4) Why do you continue to be involved with CTCACF: I continue to be involved with CTCACF because I strongly believe that we all deserve to live, and that the future of each child battling with cancer shouldn’t prevent them seeing the beauty of our world.
5) What do you hope your work with CTCACF will accomplish: I don’t hope- I know that CTCACF is making big difference each passing day to me, and to everyone around me. I know that because I heard from the families that I met during the ride, and I felt it from their words.
6) If you could be a superhero, what would your superhero name be: I don’t want to be superhero; I’d rather spend my time with people I love, and be with kids so that I can share laughter, sadness, and build a strong foundation for all kind of memories.
7) If you could have dinner with 1 historical figure, who would it be, and why: This sounds cheesy, but I would love to have dinner with my Mom one last time. Because of her I saw the world in very different way. Because of her strength I felt that my future wouldn’t end in my childhood. Because of her love I learn to love endlessly.
8) Tell us something about you most people don’t know: I came from poverty, in an isolated country farm in Manila.
9) Describe CTCACF in 3 words to someone who wants to know what it’s all about: my 3 words would be FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP, LOVE. That is what i felt when I came to ride for my first year. 3 weeks cycling, 3 weeks of memories, 3 weeks of sharing, 1 first day of meeting unknown people to share all that. I wouldn’t change a thing. I love every moment of it.