DAYNE ROLAND PHOTO Valerie Roland participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer.

Port Hardy cyclists participate in Ride to Conquer Cancer

Team Storm has already raised $17, 899

Dayne Roland is leading Port Hardy’s Team Storm in the Ride to Conquer Cancer 2017, a 200 km bike ride from Vancouver to Seattle.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer is a two day 200 plus kilometre bike ride that first started in 2008 in Toronto, and the next year a ride was also held in Vancouver and Calgary.

The 9th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer takes place Aug. 26 – 27, and Team Storm had already raised $17,899 by Aug. 23.

Dayne’s wife Valerie Roland, who passed away in December 2016, was the force behind starting Team Storm.

“My wife and I were watching a documentary on Terry Fox one evening in the fall of 2014,” said Dayne in a presentation to the Port Hardy Rotary Club. “Valerie announced, ‘I’m going to go in that bike ride from Vancouver to Seattle. It’s time for me to give back.’ She’d been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2010, 9 months after we were married.”

Dayne said that Valerie had a bone marrow transplant and had been “living a reasonably good quality of life for someone on chemotherapy” when she decided to join the Ride to Conquer Cancer.

“Val was a private person and expressed that she would like to do this without too many people knowing,” said Dayne, adding “I reminded her it was a fundraiser and she may have to tell a few people. She called her family and two brothers, without hesitation, said they would join her.”

Valerie’s friend Donna Zimmerman and one of her brother’s friends also joined the ride.

Valerie named her team “Team Storm” after her cat, who conveniently walked into the room when an organizer asked her what she would like the team name to be.

Dayne said that “the first day of the August 2015 ride started with torrential rain showers that turned to gale force winds as they pedaled down the Washington coastline.” One of the riders even broke her collar bone, but the team raised over $33,000 dollars that year.

Dayne joined the event in 2016 to participate in the Calgary ride as two of the members of team storm live in Alberta. “ I thought it might be a little flatter. It wasn’t,” said Dayne.

Valerie had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that spring and was weak, but asked her doctor if she would be able to make the ride in August.

“Val rode the first and last few kilometers each day with her team and was a tireless supporter. Four of her nursing coworkers decided to spend their holiday cheering on Val and the team,” said Dayne.

On three separate occasions research was able to provide a new treatment for Valerie when her cancer had reappeared and none was available. “I would like to think this fundraising has played some role in possibilities like hers,” said Dayne.

Dayne is team captain for the 2017 ride and is riding with new team mates Janet Dorward, Brian Thompson, and Roland’s cousin Jordie Anderson.

Funds raised through the Ride to Conquer Cancer will support lifesaving research and enhancements to care at the BC Cancer Agency.

Since 2009, the Ride has raised $70 million for the BC Cancer Foundation and is B.C.’s largest cycling fundraiser.

To donate go to conquercancer.ca, click BC 2017, search for Team Storm then pick a rider from the roster and donate or click here.

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