Colwood man takes on Ride to Conquer Cancer for 11th year in a row

Team Finn has raised almost $3 million for BC Cancer Foundation

Rick Stiebel/News Staff

Experiencing what his family went through during his sister’s battle with cancer had a profound effect that left a lasting impression on Shawn Creamer.

“I was 13 at the time and it had quite an impact,” explained Creamer, who lived with his aunt for a few months while his parents stayed in Vancouver with his sister, Tracey, when she was undergoing treatment for leukemia. “We’re a very close family. It was a difficult time.

“That’s what really motivated me to help raise money to fight cancer,” said the Colwood resident preparing to participate in his 11th Ride to Conquer Cancer on Aug. 24-25. Riders will complete about 220 kilometres cycling from Vancouver to Hope. Creamer, a civilian contracts co-ordinator at CFB Esquimalt, is one of 14 people who have ridden in the event every year since its inception. “People before me who got involved in fundraisers like this are the reason my sister’s still alive.

Although it had been about 20 years since he had been on a bike, Creamer came across a BC Cancer Foundation pamphlet on the Ride to Conquer Cancer shortly after he purchased a new bike. He rode as an individual the first time he took part in the event, but decided to join Team Finn the following year, named in honour of a three-year-old boy who died from cancer. Finns’ legacy of “Run Jump Bounce Dance Sing Love Smile and Ride” has been a continuous source of inspiration for riders since he died in 2008.

READ ALSO: Victoria Fire Department honours three former chiefs with Ride to Conquer Cancer

“I heard Finn’s dad speak and I was really moved,” Creamer said. “Finn didn’t lose his battle. He lived with cancer and made the most of every moment. The speech really grabbed me and I joined Team Finn the next year.”

Creamer trains twice a week in preparation for the ride, mostly working on distance. “It’s great because it’s set up for all levels of skill,” he noted. They have pit stops every 20 or 30 kilometres and great medical and equipment support. Lots of people help out to make it work.”

Creamer is one of 40 of the 23,000 riders who have taken part in every Ride to Conquer Cancer. Team Finn, which averages between 20 and 100 riders a year, has raised $2,753,683. Creamer’s fundraising total so far is more than $30,000. “Getting the word out about the ride and raising awareness is critical. Everyone knows about the Tour de Rock, which is a great initiative, but the Ride to Conquer Cancer tends to fly under the radar,” he said. The money raised by Ride to Conquer cancer totals almost $96 million to date and helps the BC Cancer Foundation purchase equipment such as PET and CT scanners and other equipment and fund treatments that play a critical role in cancer care.

The fact his sister has been in remission for 32 years speaks volumes about the progress made, but he has also lost an aunt, uncle and two grandparents to cancer.

“They told my sister she may never be able to have kids and she has three,” he added. “We’re changing the story with every ride.”

Visit teamfinn.com for more information.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sixty Sooke homes needed to host Japanese students

Homestay program offers visitors a taste of life in Canada

Sidney could take additional action around speculation tax

Council to consider steps later this fall after staff review of provincial statistics

Demand for youth, child counselling spikes in Victoria

Oak Bay gala a crucial support for youth counselling

Organizer of Sidney election forum defend environmental focus

Organizers say the forum won’t be soap box for local MP and federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

Three second-half goals lead Cavalry over Victoria’s Pacific FC

Cavalry FC downed Pacific FC 4-1 on Sunday in Canadian Premiere League action

Island music trivia tournament a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read