The Schmelter family has raised more than $100,000 over five years for the BC Lung Association. (Submitted photo)

Weekend bike trek for BC Lung a tradition for Chilliwack family

Family team, Blood Sweat & Gears, has raised more than $100,000 for lung research

  • Jul. 7, 2019 7:00 a.m.

Every year, for the past five years, mom and daughter Karen and Leah’s summer has culminated with an annual two-day cycling weekend. They train for the BC Lung Association’s annual Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath (Trek) throughout the spring and summer months.

And for the past two years, the event has turned into an even bigger family ritual, with Karen’s husband Fred, and Leah’s husband Ben joining in on the fun, too.

“Karen, Fred, Leah and Ben participate together with a Trek team called Blood, Sweat & Gears, who have raised well over $100,000 in support of vital lung health research, education and patient support programs over the years. We’re extraordinarily grateful for their continuing support,” says Marissa McFadyen, events manager for the BC Lung Association.

Part fundraiser, part weekend getaway, Trek is a fully supported, two-day, 200km ride from Fort Langley to Cultus Lake and back. Participants do the distance, and in return the BC Lung Association delivers a seamless weekend experience including all meals, lakeside lodge accommodation, gear transport, medical and mechanical support, evening entertainment, and even a commemorative Trek 2019 t-shirt.

According to the Lung Association, one in five British Columbians are affected by a lung or breathing condition. The most common condition in B.C. is asthma, affecting as many as 10 per cent of children and adults. The next is COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) which affects another six per cent of people aged 45 or older, and following COPD is sleep apnea, or sleep-disordered breathing, affecting another two to four per cent of adult men and women.

Add to that the tens of thousands of British Columbians diagnosed every year with lung cancer, afflicted by a fatal condition of the lungs called pulmonary fibrosis, or born with a life-shortening genetic condition called cystic fibrosis. While treatment exists to control and slow down the progression of these conditions, none are currently curable.

Finally, the Lung Association says, there are tens of thousands impacted every year by airborne infectious diseases such as influenza and pneumonia or worse, the increasingly antibiotic-resistant bacterial killer tuberculosis (TB).

“It is thanks to advances in research and immunization efforts, these infectious diseases remain well controlled in Canada – at least for the time being,” says McFadyen. “And our Trek fundraisers and supporters are helping ensure it stays that way.”

To participate in the event, each Trekker is required to pay a $25 registration fee and fundraise a minimum of $650 in donations. Together Trekkers have raised more than $7 million since the event began some 35 years ago.

“I love seeing all the riders – young, old, seasoned veterans – listening to their stories, sharing the experience, enjoying the food. Everyone is so positive and welcoming,” said Karen Schmelter. “Trek is truly a great weekend – and at the same time a chance to make a difference in the lives of others. I look forward to catching up with all my Trek friends every September – as well as making new ones!”

To learn more and register, visit bicycletrek.ca. Questions? Email info@bicycletrek.ca or call the Events Team at the BC Lung Association toll-free at 1-800-665-5864.

To make a donation in support of the Schmelters, or their daughter Leah and her husband Ben Vegt, visit bicycletrek.ca, click donate and search them by name.


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

Province bringing 421 new affordable childcare spaces to Fraser Valley

Supporting early childhood educators and creating spaces go hand in hand, minister says

Aspiring pot-sellers can apply in two weeks to operate stores in Abbotsford

City will accept applications to operate one of four new stores; public consultation to follow

Nine Abbotsford citizens fleeced for over $68,000 by bitcoin scammers

Police warn public about fraudsters who threaten arrest

Comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

Surrey tells Uber to cease operations in city, but company ‘respectfully’ declines

Ridesharing company told to stop operating within the city by 9 p.m. Jan. 24

Coronavirus concerns cause cancellation of Langley Lunar New Year celebration

Close to 1,000 were expected to attend the annual Live In Langley event on Saturday

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Most Read