Riding in this year’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley is an experience Mission RCMP Const. Joannie Sidhu has few words, but many emotions for.
After being battered with wind and rain over the weekend, Monday’s ride through Mission and up the many hills was so physically challenging, that when Sidhu climbed the Cedar Valley Connector, she wasn’t sure the tears were for the pain she felt in every muscle of her body, or if it was the swelling in her heart from seeing the connector lined up with supporters and photos of cancer survivors and memories of those who didn’t make it.
It’s an experience the first time rider will never forget. There are no words to describe that.
Sidhu has wanted to be a part of the Cops for Cancer team since she joined the RCMP.
My aunt had lymphoma, she explained at a stop to the Junction Mall Monday afternoon. “She survived, but it was hard seeing her go through chemo. You always hear stories about people with cancer.”
As difficult as it was for the Mission constable to watch her aunt battle cancer, she couldn’t imagine a young child taking up that fight.
“Kids are so innocent,” she said. “They deserve a chance to live.”
One of Sidhu’s favourite part about the week-long cycling journey is visiting schools, meeting children and teaching them that many cancers can be prevented. Quit smoking and don’t visit tanning salons, are just a couple of the suggestions.
During one of the school visits, Sidhu met a cancer survivor named Chloe in Mission. Her spirit and energy was amazing, said Sidhu. “She was so beautiful even though she didn’t have any hair.”
Sidhu and the rest of the Tour de Valley team continued to bring their message to Mission schools Tuesday before heading to Maple Ridge and Surrey.
The ride began on Sept. 27 in Aldergrove to raise funds for paediatric cancer programs and research through the Canadian Cancer Society. The team is visiting more than a dozen communities and will end their journey in Abbotsford on Oct. 4.
To find out more about Cops for Cancer or to make a donation, visit copsforcancer.ca.