Mike Kreuger,47, and his six-year-old daughter Maddison. (Provided photo)

Venon man rides to conquer cancer after wife’s diagnosis

“The outpouring of support we’ve received in Vernon here has just been spectacular.”

Mike Kreuger is working out, but not for the same reasons that most do. He’s not doing it merely to improve his personal health, or to get into shape for beach season.

He’s doing it for a cause, one that hits close to home.

The 47-year-old Vernon resident is gearing up for The Ride to Conquer Cancer, a two-day, 200-kilometre bike ride in support of the BC Cancer Foundation. Now in its 11th year, The Ride, presented by Wheaton Precious Metals, has raised more than $96 million for the foundation to date. With events also in Ontario, Alberta and Quebec it is Canada’s biggest peer-to-peer fundraiser.

For Kreuger, the cancer research fundraiser is personal. Six months ago his wife Meghan was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The news was a complete blindside with Meghan being just 35.

“What really hit me the hardest is (thinking) there’s literally nothing I can do about it,” he said.

Beset by this feeling of helplessness, the ride presented a way for Kreuger to get off the sidelines.

Related: BC Cancer Foundation raises a record $63.7 million

“Being able to fundraise was a way that I could participate in Meghan’s journey and feel that I’m doing something to prevent this from happening to our daughter Maddison.”

In preparation for The Ride—kicking off Aug. 24 in Vancouver—Kreuger has been hitting the mountain bike once a week and the road bike twice a week. He’s been running two times weekly on top of that, and on those occasions, he has a training partner, his six-year-old daughter Maddison.

“I’ll go for runs down the rail trail and she’ll ride her mountain bike beside me,” Kreuger explained.

As a pace-setter, she keeps her father pushing. “I run at about 10 to 11 km an hour and she bikes at about 12 to 13, so it’s hard for me to keep up,” Kreuger laughed.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer hasn’t even begun yet and already Kreuger’s donation site at conquercancer.ca has raised more than $22,500.

“I’ve been overwhelmed with the support,” said Kreuger, who has now raised 91 per cent of his goal of $25,000

He and Meghan previously lived in Vancouver and Montreal before moving to Vernon, and Kreuger says he’s been in awe of their current small-town community.

“The outpouring of support we’ve received in Vernon here has just been spectacular,” he said.

“We can’t even put anything into our freezers because so many people have dropped by and given us ready-made meals.”

Beyond the money raised, training for the ride led Kreuger to improve his health through regular exercise and impart lessons to his daughter Maddison.

“Exercise is about more than just fun; it’s important. So it’s been good to be able to use that as a catalyst to speak to our daughter as well.”

The Vancouver ride is the last of four that will have taken place this year, with Toronto and Montreal having held rides in June and July, and another ride taking place earlier this month in Alberta.

Facilitated by CauseForce, a peer-to-peer fundraising agency, The Ride to Conquer Cancer has raised more than $460 million in support of cancer research from events across North America and Australia in its 11-year history.

Register for The Ride at conquercancer.ca

Read More: Sister of cancer victim cycles across Canada to raise awareness


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

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

Just Posted

Vernon Vipers’ Trey Taylor wins with Team West at CJHL Top Prospects game

17-year-old defenseman also makes NHL Central Scouting list of top prospects

Vernon watercolour artist returning to spotlight

Patricia Neil Lawton is holding her first art show in 5 years at Nadine’s Fine Art and Frames, Feb. 8

Cows, cars and more: Coldstream secondary students show off capstone projects

Kalamalka Secondary seniors displayed Career Life Connections capstone projects Jan. 15

Low-level meth dealer gets 6 months jail time in Vernon

BC Supreme Court Justice’s sentence concludes case related to June 2017 offence

Vernon perfect getaway for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, mayor says

Family-oriented community also home to Royal interests; film and helicopter industries

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

B.C. town spends $14.14 per resident for snow removal in one month

Costs of snow removal to the Town of Princeton skyrocketed in December.… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Photo reminds Salmon Arm resident of connection to former drama teacher Justin Trudeau

Prime minister remembered as being as a funny, larger-than-life person

Province says it is monitoring AIM’s road maintenance

The provincial transportation ministry is working closely with new road contractor AIM,… Continue reading

Most Read