Support the fight against cancer
SUPPORT ME ON MY 9th PARTICIPATION IN THE RIDE TO CONQUER CANCER
My mother passed away in 1969 when I was just 12. She had battled cancer for several years; it started with lung cancer but by the end it was generalized through most of her body. After her passing, I wanted to become a doctor to be able to find a cure for cancer. In high school, I discovered chemistry and later, in university I discovered computers. These discoveries derailed my plans to become a doctor and now I have worked for more than twenty-five years with these two interests at the center of my career. My participations in the Ride to Conquer Cancer and the 401 Bike Challenge events have become my contribution to the battle against the terrible enemy that took my mother and we all know as cancer.
This will be my ninth Ride to Conquer Cancer. My first ride in 2009 was a wonderful and moving experience with a great team of riders and fundraisers. It was surpassed by the 2010 ride with the participation of my 16 year old nephew Cody (a leukemia survivor). The weather was extremely hot and one of our team members became dehydrated. Three of us stayed with him and helped him through the last 20 km in a true demonstration of team spirit and how working together can help reach a goal. When we finally rejoined the rest of the team, we had an SQ motorcycle escort and rode in as a team of 37 led by Cody.
In 2011, team Finish Strong did not exist but I participated with a new team, the McGill Community Riders. I dedicated my ride to the memory of an old elementary school friend, Steve Major, who lost his battle with cancer the previous year. I also made a new friend, Rob Callard, who is a cancer survivor and attributes his survival in part to cycling. Each year since, he and his team are in the top fundraisers for the Ride. Finish Strong rode again in 2012; I was proud to ride with my youngest daughter, Claudia (just 16), in memory of a friend and old colleague that passed after a short battle with cancer. We met the motorcycle SQ officer that had led us across the finish line in 2010 and he escorted the team across the finish line again. In 2013, Finish Strong could almost have been called team Belliveau with my two daughters Claudia & Janet and their cousins Cody & his sister Amanda. Alessio, Claudia's boyfriend also joined. The ride was dedicated to family and friends that won their battles against cancer and, again, officer Therrien led us across the finish line. In 2014, Finish Strong was but four riders; Claudia and I rode with Rosemary and Frank from McGill and I dedicated my ride to a courageous friend in Oswego who won her battle against cancer. Despite her ordeal, Rocky rocks on!
In 2015, Finish Strong was to be but three. Unfortunately, Claudia didn't join us because of a soccer injury - she had sprained her ankle 10 days before. I ended up riding a lot with Rob's team Hope & Gratitude, another great team of riders, cancer battlers and fundraisers. The ride was dedicated to my aunt and godmother, Aunt Lorraine, who lost her lengthy battle. My cousin Denise, who is a cancer survivor herself, learnt her partner Pierre had to take up the battle - he is now doing well.
Last year, Claudia and I rode as Finish Strong with Hope & Gratitude. It was the hardest two days I have ever spent on a bike; it was cold, wet and the wind was in our face most of the way; apparently less than 25% of the participants that started actually finished. A longtime friend and supporter of our efforts, Michel, was struck. His treatments are over and he has finally returned to work. Another close family friend, also a longtime supporter, Dany, began his battle, his treatments continue but he has returned to work on light duty - we are hoping for the best.
This past year, the wife of a colleague who began her fight in 2014 lost her battle. there is still work to do prevent this from happening. Please support the cause by contributing to my campaign. I have raised more than $50,000 for cancer research and treatment through my cycling activities. Our efforts really do help. Research progresses in better diagnostic tests and treatment protocols. One day, we can beat this mortal enemy.
How cancer has touched me personally:
Jeannette Belliveau, mother (1933-1969): lung
Cody Belliveau, nephew: leukemia (ride participant)
Denise Laverdure, cousin: breast
Lorraine Belliveau, aunt: bladder, throat (1925-2015)
Everett Belliveau, uncle (1929-2008): lung
Edward Belliveau, uncle (1925-2004): lung
Arthur Cormier, uncle (1938-1993): throat
Harvey Cormier, uncle (1925-1995): lymph
Delphine Melanson, grand-mother (1909-1996): cervix
Bill Pyke, uncle (1921-2006): undetermined
Linda Reid, sister's mother-in-law (1946-2003): breast
David Simkin, PhD advisor, (1941-1997)
Steve Major, elementary school friend (1957-2010)
Jean-Pierre Martin, university friend & colleague (1951-2011)
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