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Kids inspire Black Press Media rider to tackle Tour de Rock for third time

‘Cancer doesn’t stop for COVID-19 or anything else for that matter’

When the Canadian Cancer Society comes calling, Arnold Lim always answers.

His dedication harkens back a decade, when as a freelance journalist with Black Press Media he would see students across Greater Victoria commit and put in the sweat equity required to raise mass sums of money for Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock.

“I was assigned Tour de Rock stories before I really understood what Tour de Rock was and remember seeing the amazing energy and efforts of students who really went above and beyond in the schools of Greater Victoria,” Lim said.

RELATED: Music, food and memories on tap for Tour de Rock finale in Sidney

The annual Cops for Cancer bike ride, now in its 23rd year, raises funds in support of life-saving pediatric cancer research and support programs for children and their families with a history of cancer. Traditionally, Tour de Rock is a two-week, 1,200-kilometre bike ride that spans Vancouver Island, tackled by a team of first responders and a handful of media riders.

In 2013 Lim became one of those riders. He went again in 2017.

In the years between, Lim became smitten with another entire set of young people. He noticed many honorary team members (formerly called junior riders) were no longer part of the team. Some aged out of the program, healthy young people overcoming cancer.

“But on the other side, some were no longer a part of the ride because they weren’t around anymore, and that really made my heart explode. I saw desperate parents become grief-stricken parents, and that really resonated with me because I knew that could just as easily been me – I really saw myself in those parents, and that is why I will always say yes anytime the (Canadian Cancer Society) calls,” Lim said.

RELATED: Tour de Rock embraces community teams for annual Vancouver Island cancer fundraiser

So when they came knocking this year, Lim was among the alumni who pulled on the spandex, climbed on a bike and did a community leg of the Island tour. For the second consecutive year, in a modified version of Tour de Rock, alumni teams tackled a 12-day tour starting late last month in Port Alice and wrapping with a party in Sidney Friday (Oct. 1).

While the situation isn’t ideal – the tour raised about half its usual amount in 2020 – neither is cancer, Lim pointed out.

“Cancer doesn’t stop for COVID-19 or anything else for that matter … my hat is off to the CCS team, the riders, the volunteers, the families affected by cancer and the amazing communities that find a way to give so much and make positive change in their community during challenging times,” Lim said.

This year’s tour targets $650,0000, the amount raised last year, but about half the usual goal.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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