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Turning the Wheels in Support of Survival

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Posted on: September 24, 2018
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Cochrane cyclist, John Clubb, put his pedal to the metal for six long days in support of an amazing cause.

 

 

Travelling 600 kilometres in total, Clubb was the only Cochrane rider out of the 19-21 riders who hit the pavement for this year’s Cancervive Ride in support of Alberta Wellspring Centres.

Motivated by his own survival story, Clubb rode through wind, rain, mud, and cold temperatures as he tackled many hills through Southern Alberta and the Canadian Rockies pedalling anywhere between 80 to 160 kilometres a day, over the six-day period.

Part of the Cancervive family since 2015, it was John’s diagnosis of prostate cancer which got him involved. Competing in numerous Iron Man competitions as well as the Boston Marathon, Clubb doesn’t take life for advantage. We caught up with Clubb on day two (September 12) as he rode over 160 km from Canmore to Radium through wind and rain.

While Clubb was going to participate in Cancervive last year, his hectic racing schedule kept him tied up. Riding from Calgary to Edmonton in his last Cancervive experience, he shares it was a great ride. “It’s different from racing because you’ve got so many different levels and everyone is so supportive of each other. Everyone finds their own pace and you support each other just to get through the day.”

Although Clubb went through his own diagnosis he shares he never accessed Wellspring services but wishes he had. “I look back when I was diagnosed and it was like a hammer smashing you on the head, you sometimes don’t know where to go. The doctors don’t always have time to support you and you can end up being a little lost, so I see a lot of benefit for people who can go in and get that type of support. I had a friend that supported me but it would have been nice to sit down and have someone, not too involved, support you and that is where Wellspring comes in.”

This year’s experience is slightly different for Clubb as he pedals thinking of others who have lost the battle. Being involved as a soccer coach, Clubb says he thinks of Reiner Sattler who was a driving force in building the Cochrane Rangers Soccer Club. “I remember seeing him out late last fall as I was riding around Cochrane and I bumped into Reiner who was 82 out on his road bike, riding as good as anything. It didn’t take long for cancer to set in and take him away, so you’ve got to live while you can. Everyone is impacted by cancer, so it’s great to ride together and give back.”

Cancervive is a fully supported ride which would not be possible without the help of many volunteers. Good food, entertainment, a comfortable sleep in a hotel room and lots of support is what makes the ride unique and attractive to cyclists who range in experience. The one common thread, shares Peggy Brosens, with Wellspring, is that every rider has been touched by cancer in some way, with many being survivors themselves. While some days were cut short this year due to busy highways and adverse weather conditions, Brosens, says it was still a great year. “The ride itself was a success even given the bad weather we had. It is a great group of people, even though they were cold some days, had mud on their faces, they still had smiles because they know why they’re doing it.”

While donations were down from 2017 just due to the number of riders, currently, the fundraising totals sit around $80,000 for Calgary and $10,000 for Edmonton with anticipated final dollars for the Calgary centre coming in around $85,000.

The two Wellspring Centres in Calgary and one in Edmonton offer services and programs that support individuals who have received a cancer diagnosis as well as their caregivers and families. “Wellspring is there so no one has to face cancer alone. They can take any programs and we provide them for free. A lot of the classes are exercise based, mediation, nutrition, we also do courses on returning to work, brain fog, and we have specific programs for caregivers as well. We are just recently starting to introduce more kid-friendly classes, where families can bring younger kids under the age of 18.”

Classes are done in a group setting but individuals are able to access one on one support if need be.

Thinking you have what it takes to survive ‘Cancervive’?! Information for next year’s ride will be available early on in 2019. Cancervive route changes yearly so whether you are a first or multi-year participant, you will be challenged in a new way. For more information, go HERE .

 

This is is a syndicated post. Read the original at cochranenow.com