Cops for Cancer’s Tour de Rock has many faces

Terry Curry is riding the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock.

Meeting for the first time

It’s been 45 years since he’s been on a bicycle.

Initially he was a bit wobbly on the wheels, but that didn’t stop him: he’s doing it anyway.

Terry Curry is riding the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock.

When the Sooke News Mirror asked if it took him some time to get his cycling legs back, without missing a beat Curry responded, “It’s been more about getting my cycle butt back!”

Why is he doing this?

“I lost a brother in 1965 to leukaemia,” said Curry. His brother was only 15 years old, 18 months younger than Curry. “They had no treatment at the time, just blood transfusion, no aggressive treatments.”

And like many others, he too have felt the cold reach of cancer, having been diagnosed with prostrate cancer on the memorable day of November 11, 2005. Luckily, it was diagnosed early enough, and Curry has been cancer-free for over five years now. For a long time, he’s been working steadily on creating awareness, fund raising, and lending a hand where he can. He would like to see the day where cancer, like polio, becomes a disease of the past.

Riding the Tour de Rock has always appealed to Curry.

You can only participate once, said Curry, and you have to be a member of the forces.

He fits both of these requirements.

When he and his wife moved to Sooke, Curry was a member of the RCMP. Though he retired in 2007, he applied to go into the reserve in 2009 and has been working part-time since. After his father passed away in late 2012, Curry decided it was time. So when the applications were made available in early 2013, Curry applied.

The training process was guaranteed to teach any level of rider the skill and stamina required to complete the tour. Training started slowly at one day a week, them ramped up to three days. Later this summer, there will be a few rides that last five consecutive days.

And sure enough, after 45 years out of the saddle, Curry feels ready for the upcoming ride.

Curry will be riding in support of 12-year-old Joel Dorval, his designated “Junior Rider.”

Joel was diagnosed with Leukaemia when he was only six years old. His mother, Michelle, noticed while reading stories to Joel one night that the glands in his throat seemed somewhat swollen while struggling with what seemed like the flu. She took Joel in to the doctor’s office the following day, and he was sent home with a diagnosis of mononucleosis. Something in Michelle’s gut told her this wasn’t right, and she took Joel in for a second opinion the following day. From the second doctor’s office, he was ushered to emergency. There, after some intensive test, he was flown to B.C.’s Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

It was a whirlwind affair. Diagnosed with a very aggressive form of leukaemia, the treatment was equally aggressive.

“It was absolutely terrible,” said Joel’s father, Joel Sr. “It came on so quick.” Joel Sr. is grateful every day that Michelle listened to her gut and got that second opinion. Untreated, Joel Sr. said, the second doctor said young Joel would have had four to six weeks of life left.

These days, 12-year-old Joel’s cancer has been in remission for two years. He sporting a mighty fine mohawk, and is debating having two fund-raising campaigns: one to keep the mohawk; and, the other to shave it.

To sponsor Curry, visit copsforcancerbc.ca and click on Riders. A search for Curry will return Terry Curry’s sponsorship page. To contribute to Joel’s fundraising campaign, send an email to his mother, Michelle, at elegal1974@hotmail.com