First responders celebrate 20 years of helping kids with cancer

22 May 2019

Vancouver -

Today, local law enforcement and emergency services personnel are gathering to celebrate two decades of Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley and Tour de Coast. Through these events, riders travel across the Fraser Valley and coast of BC and engage communities on-route in raising money for childhood cancer research and support services at the Canadian Cancer Society.

While childhood cancer death rates have decreased in this time, cancer remains the leading cause of disease-related death in children under the age of 15. Funds raised through the Tours support ground-breaking research that is helping save and improve the lives of children locally and across the country, in addition to support services such as Camp Goodtimes, which helps patients and their families enjoy unforgettable summers together. Since 1999, more than $17.8 million has been raised through Tour de Coast and Tour de Valley.

“Last year, Camp Goodtimes helped more than 400 children and teens in British Columbia,” says Brooke Sherwood, Director of Annual Giving at the Canadian Cancer Society. “This camp allows kids living with cancer and their families to have an extraordinary experience in a supportive environment and this wouldn’t be possible without the generous donations of our community.”

Progress is being made. The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that more than 80% of children diagnosed with cancer will survive at least five years past diagnosis. More work needs to be done because 2 out of 3 childhood cancer survivors will suffer long-term side effects from their treatment.

“I’m thankful to everyone who supports Cops for Cancer by helping advance the childhood cancer cause,” says Casey Wright, a former Camp Goodtimes participant and Junior Member “If it weren’t for support services and research funded by initiatives, like Cops for Cancer, my experience would have been much different.”

To celebrate Casey for his generous spirit and inspiring journey, he has been bestowed Honourable Chief for the day by the Vancouver Police Department. This distinction will involve Casey presenting the riders with their official Coast Capital Training jerseys and announcing a special 20th anniversary fundraising campaign for which he hopes to raise over $100,000 to support childhood cancer research and support programs at the Canadian Cancer Society. To help Casey reach his goal, donations can be made at cancer.ca/tourdecoast20 or cancer.ca/tourdevalley20.

The Canadian Cancer Society believes that one child with cancer is one too many. It is for this reason that the organization:
  • Is the largest national charitable funder of childhood cancer research in Canada and this year, and is funding $4.19 million in research across the country
  • Advocates for better support for parents and legal guardians who need to take time off work to care for children with cancer
  • Provides information and support services for families touched by cancer

Help pedal the way to end childhood cancer! To learn more, pledge a rider or make a donation visit copsforcancer.ca.

About Cops for Cancer

Cops for Cancer first began in 1994, when Sergeant Gary Goulet of the Edmonton Police Service met Lyle Jorgenson, a then 5-year-old boy who had cancer. Goulet requested the meeting after learning that Lyle was being ridiculed at school because of his hair loss due to chemotherapy. Goulet was so moved by the boy’s story, he rallied his colleagues to shave their heads in solidarity. The Cops for Cancer movement was born when Goulet contacted the Canadian Cancer Society to hold a head shaving fundraiser. The event concept spread and evolved to neighbouring police forces and eventually across the country raising millions of dollars for childhood cancer research and support services.

About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. No other organization does what we do. Our vision to create a world where no Canadian fears cancer is only achievable if we come together as a community and work collectively with people united by the same goals. With the help of hundreds of thousands of people that CCS brings together, we are a force-for-life in the face of cancer.

For more information, please contact:
Lauren MacFarland, Lauren.MacFarland@bc.cancer.ca, 604-215-5208