Like so many others, cancer hits close to home for Michael Fargey.
“My dad’s brother and sister, neither of them made it to 70 because of cancer. My dad was also diagnosed with cancer but he’s survived it so far,” he says.
In one month Michael Fargey will cycle a total of 1,100 kilometres through parts of Ontario, B.C., Alberta and Quebec on four separate back-to-back cycling trips as part of the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. The ride is incorrectly titled according to Fargey who comes from a ‘science family’.
“You can’t conquer cancer — the term is wrong.”
His goal to raise $12,000 toward fighting cancer sounds daunting to some but Fargey appears confident it can be achieved.
“I’ll be head-over- heels happy if I raise $12,000. If it’s beyond that I’ll help donate to others’ fund-raisers,” Fargey says. That sum is the total for the four separate rides he plans to do.
He will travel 12.5 to 15 kilometres a day and sleep in a tent provided by Enbridge; a main sponsor and outfitter of the trip.
“My first ride is in Ontario from Toronto to Niagara Falls but I think the B.C. ride will be the most fun,” said Fargey who grew up in the mountains of Hinton, Alberta.
A kayaker and mountain biker of many years, Fargey first began road cycling in 2010 during a ride in Quebec. Together he and 144 other riders raised $2,400 toward cancer research. In no time Fargey was addicted to the sport and as he says, ‘in challenging your life’.
“Cycling is great fun, I like the creativity association with it. You can see so much in such a short period of time. It’s participation with a purpose and a lot more fun when there are mountains.”
Fargey currently suffers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his knee but says that cycling does not aggravate his condition, “cycling is real joint friendly. I’m not worried.”
Life on the road has many memorable moments but one stood out in particular for Fargey.
“We pull into Trois-Rivieres in a fairground type place. It looked like a world club scout jamboree with 800 to 1,000 tents lined up, all organized. The portable showers were first class, clean with great water pressure. There were also masseuses offering free massages– there was also physio. It was exceptional,” said Fargey.
Last year’s proceeds bought a new diagnostic imaging PET/CT scanner, the first in the province of British Columbia. Wait times were reduced and the number of patients able to receive these life-saving scans has more than doubled due to funding support by BC Cancer Foundation created by The Ride.
A salesman by trade, Fargey moved to Sooke in 2009.
“My high school friend Neil Gertsma opened up a Sooke based Home Hardware store here — and I like surfing.”
The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer began in part to Jonathan Goodman, the President and CEO of Paladin, a Quebec based pharmaceutical company.
“People are cycle mad out east,” said Fargey.
Goodman, who is surviving Hodgkin’s disease due to drugs such as Paladin — decided to give back. Goodman donated a large amount of money toward the Enbridge epic ride creating great corporate support for the Enbridge cycling team.
“I’ve never had better cycling stuff,” said Fargey with regards to his new Italian cycling clothes.
If individuals wish to donate they can call Michael Fargey at firstname.lastname@example.org For others who wish to ride next year, more riders are needed and more information can be found on the website at conquercancer.ca.