Victoria Hospice welcomes local man on his return from cross-Canada tour

Coast-to-coast cycling adventure honoured Victoria man’s late father

It’s not every day one gets to travel across the country — from Victoria to the tip of Nova Scotia — let alone on a bike.

But that’s exactly what Kane Mercer did, to draw attention to the need for support of hospice palliative care. Mercer’s ‘Ride for Rand’ was in honour of his father Randy, who passed away from cancer in Victoria Hospice five years ago.

Mercer kicked off his adventure from Gonzales Beach in May, arriving in New Glasgow, N.S. last month. With so many charities and organizations assisting cancer research, Mercer wanted to raise money for hospice, a place he could make a difference with his efforts.

“It was a cathartic experience for me, for sure,” he said. “Personally I feel a lot healthier. It helped me to get over some of the difficulties [of] the loss of my dad.”

While Mercer was cycling through the mountains of Alberta and the plains of Saskatchewan, staff at Victoria Hospice came across the story of Ian Bos. Two years prior, the New Glasgow man walked across the country – from his hometown to Victoria – in honour of his own father’s battle with cancer. That knowledge inspired Mercer to re-route his trip to finish at the Aberdeen Palliative Care Society, where he met Bos.

For University of Victoria grad Mercer, visiting Northern Ontario, the Bay of Fundy and P.E.I. were just some of the highlights of his first cross-country trip. “There were a lot of storms [along] the way,” he said. Mercer rode through rain in each of the 10 provinces. “But, it was great seeing the skies and the clouds coming in and the shifting weather.”

Mercer documented the whole adventure on a Go Pro strapped to his helmet and on his blog.

“I’ve always had a real faith in humanity,” he said. “It just reaffirms it, to go across to see coast to coast how nice and how supportive people were.”

A family in Radium Hot Springs whom Mercer chatted with one afternoon later found themselves in the same restaurant. They quietly paid his tab before Mercer could even say thank you.

Mercer’s mother, Cheryl, and brother, Aaron, joined hospice staff and volunteers on Wednesday to welcome him home as he rode in on his bike in front of Richmond Pavilion, 106 days after he began his journey.

“The care and the support that our father received here,” Aaron said of the hospice, “this is really to honour them.”

Mercer plans to volunteer at Victoria Hospice, to support what he feels is a chronically underfunded and neglected area of care.

And, returning phone calls, he laughed. “Student loans are calling.”

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Emily Carr Quartet to perform in Sooke

Show begins at 7 p.m. at the Sooke Harbour House on Feb. 28

Rookie boxer gains new self-confidence

After ten weeks of training ‘Killer’ Gibson is ‘unstoppable’

Police still searching for missing Langford teen

Ashley Garland could be using the alias Michelle Adams

Crash at Tillicum Centre breaks traffic signal

Emergency crews on scene, avoid the area

Therapy dogs make appearance at B.C. Games

The St. John’s Ambulance therapy dog program launches a pilot project at the 2018 Kamloops B.C. Winter Games

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Sticking the landing at the B.C. Games

Gymnasts talk competition, B.C. Winter Games, and teamwork in Kamloops

$153M in federal cash to fund child care, education training in B.C.

Bilateral agreement will create 1,370 new infant and toddler spaces

A B.C. woman talks her life in the sex trade

A view into the life from one Kelowna prostitute and the issues it can cause for women

Twitter feed prays for — instead of preying on — B.C. MLAs

Non-partisan Christian group wants to support politicians through personalized prayer

BC Ferries report net loss of $14.8 million in third quarter

CEO assures public it’s smooth sailing, advises of new ‘fare initiatives’

Hundreds march for justice in death of Winnipeg teen

Tina Fontaine was pulled from a river in 2014, her body wrapped in a blanket and weighed down by rocks

Most Read