Locals step up for cancer ride

A two-day, 200-kilometre bike ride might seem like an impossible feat but compared to fighting cancer it’s just like riding a bike

Michele Williams as she participated in the Ride To Conquer Cancer.

Michele Williams as she participated in the Ride To Conquer Cancer.

A two-day, 200-kilometre bike ride might seem like an impossible feat but compared to fighting cancer it’s just like riding a bike.

Seven local riders are slipping into their bike shorts and strapping on their helmets to join the Ride To Conquer Cancer, benefitting the B.C. Cancer Foundation, which starts in Vancouver on Saturday and finishes in Seattle.

Wayne Carlson, of Vernon, has always wanted to tackle a long bike ride, and after hearing that his friends Doug and Carol Owen lost their 26-year-old son Richard to cancer, he chose to ride in his memory.

Carlson, 60, has been training a lot to prepare himself for the taxing ride and says he has never quit on one hill because he thinks of his friends and how they never quit on their son.

“I just think of them (Doug and Carol Owen) and the mountains that they had to climb as they supported their son. I’m just riding a bike so that is pretty simple,” said Carlson.

Carlson has managed to raise more than $4,000 for cancer research.

Local nurse Jamie Hunsberger has raised $3,205 and is riding for her aunt Michele Williams who lost her battle with cancer this January.

Williams spent her career as an oral medicine specialist fighting cancer and was the leader for the Ride To Conquer Cancer team Better Outcomes.

Over Christmas, Hunsberger and her aunt discussed her taking part in the ride this year.

“We talked about how I wanted to do this ride and join her team Better Outcomes and she gave me her bike.”

Hunsberger was very close to her aunt who encouraged her to finish school to become a registered nurse.

“I will be riding Michele’s bike with pride and join many of our family as we ride in her honour. I am pleased to contribute to oral cancer research,” said Hunsberger.

“I know that Michele would have been proud and will be cheering us on.”