As riders in this year’s Tour de Coast Cops for Cancer fundraiser hit the streets in their bright spandex bike shorts, Burnaby RCMP’s Sgt. Stephan Brossard and Cpl. Steve Hoivik will be thinking about the young kids they’re helping as they ride around B.C.’s South Coast.
“My mother-in-law has cancer, and she’s been fighting cancer over time, and I’ve known so many people that are affected by cancer that I want to help out and make a difference,” said Brossard, who’s riding in his third race this year.
Brossard’s seven-year-old nephew is also battling cancer, and was the main motivation to the ride. Each year, Brossard has raised a minimum of $6,000 to participate in the nine-day event; he said it’s his way of helping fight a disease that touches everyone.
“I just found out actually, yesterday, at the (hockey) rink, there was a little kid that’s three years old that’s actually at Children’s Hospital that’s dying of terminal cancer,” he added. “It touches everybody, everywhere.”
As for Hoivik, his brother has leukemia.
“When I found out the cause directly benefits kids with cancer, I think it’s a no-brainer to get involved with a cause like that. Any form of cancer is a horrible disease to have to deal with and the treatments that go along with it,” he said. “For kids to have to do that, … it just breaks your heart when you see that.”
Together, they both agree riding in the Cops for Cancer event is one way they can help improve the lives of kids suffering from cancer – be it by fundraiser for research or better treatments or by supporting things like Camp Goodtimes, a summer camp for children with cancer and their siblings.
The Tour de Coast starts in Burnaby this year, and makes its way through the Lower Mainland, across the water to the Sunshine Coast, and back up to Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton. Along the way, riders visit different communities and meet with children battling cancer – something they’re looking forward too.
“They are kids. They just want to be kids, and we’re just trying to help,” Brossard said. “Those little kids are so brave and they’ve been through so many treatments … so it really touches your heart. And that’s why we do it. That’s why we ride.”
While in past years, Burnaby RCMP have sent upwards of four riders to participate in the Cops for Cancer fundraiser, this year there’s only two officers, and Brossard said he thinks having to raise a minimum of $6,000 can be intimidating for some people.
This year, rookie rider Hoivik was wary of the large fundraising goal, so instead of heading to their nearest grocery store and shaking cans in hopes of collecting some coin, they put together a charity hockey tournament at Burnaby 8 Rinks.
“We ended up getting sponsors on board. It’s something people like to do anyways, like a big sporting event, and we ended up raising most of our money that way,” Hoivik said.
Burnaby Cops for Cancer First Responders charity hockey tournament was a great success. Not only did they almost reach their fundraising goal, the event was so popular they plan on making it an annual fundraiser for Cops for Cancer. All the money raised will go to whoever is representing the detachment on the ride.
As of the Burnaby NOW’s press deadline, Hoivik and Brossard had raised more than $12,000 for the Cops for Cancer ride.
To donate to either Burnaby RCMP officers, visit http://tinyurl.com/l4t3wo7, click on Make a Donation and search for Hoivik and Brossard.
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