And I don’t just mean beautiful people who look good.
This is Siobhan.
A 24 year old Commerce student from Kelowna, BC, and an Iron(wo)man. What makes her so great isn’t just her physical achievements, or her academic, but her personal quest that she has decided to undertake: a 7,000km ride across Canada. The ride goes to benefit The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride, which is one of the biggest and most ambitious charity cycling events on behalf of childhood cancer in the world. From September 9th to 23rd, she will ride a 15-day, 7,000 km trans-Canada odyssey from Vancouver to Halifax. 43 selected National Riders will traverse the country, joined along the way by thousands of other caring cyclists who cycled shorter distances along the way in cities across Canada. Together, their cyclists will raise money on behalf of charities that improve the quality of life for children, and their families, living with and beyond cancer. Their destination – beyond cancer!
In her own words:
Ride your Bike for the kids who so desperately want to but cant
In 2009 I participated as a ride along marshal from Kelowna to Vernon. Just as we were about to head out for the ride a young boy, only 7 years old, took the microphone and told his story. He talked about the necklace he wore. The necklace was made out of different coloured beads. The beads went from his neck right down to his toes. His necklace was made of his ‘Beads of Courage’. Each bead represented a needle poke, a chemo treatment, a surgery, etc. My heart absolutely broke while he shared his story. He remembered that his favourite time at the hospital was being let out of isolation to enjoy his fourth birthday.
Recently a colleague of mine’s son fell ill with cancer. He is only 5 years old. What I have seen this family go through is devastating. I cannot imagine going through this as a child. I cannot imagine being a parent and watching your child endure this disease.
The good news is we can make a difference!
We have a responsibility to help these children and these families. We need to get on our bikes and ride for our health, and ride for all of the children that want to so desperately to feel the freedom of childhood and ride their bikes but cannot, because they have to endure childhood cancer. I know that I can make a difference, and so can everyone else, in their own way. Please support me on this journey. Let’s give these kids the best childhood we can. Let’s help their families cope. Let’s make childhood cancer history together!
Training for the ride
The physical training requirement to cycle across the country is a huge commitment. Time on my bike weekly started at about 10 hours earlier in the season and has since increase to about 25 + hours. The training is essentially a part time job. Training means getting out on your bikes, early in the mornings, and almost all day on the weekends rain or shine. It is a wonderful opportunity to explore the beauty around you. There are days when your body is tired and your legs don’t want to pedal or climb that one last hill, but you always remember that you pedal with a purpose; its all for the kids. Many of these children would love to go outside and ride a bike, but during treatment that is often not possible. Sure training can be hard, and so can managing your time with work and for me school, but realistically it is a small feet compared to the kids who wake up and day after day, month after month, and year after year endure chemotherapy, surgery, and endless other procedure to conquer childhood cancer.
At the peak of my training I will be cycling over 900kms per week. This means you need proper nutrition, hydration, rest, and amazing support from friends and family. I am so thankful for the support I have that allows me to stay happy and healthy during training.
Fundraising $25,000 while studying in a full time accelerated university program and having moved to a new town to do so has been an exciting challenge. I have hosted BBQ’s, bakes sales, yoga class, spin a thons, movie nights, houseboat parties, and the list goes on. Fundraising is a part time job in and of itself and has only been successful because of the amazing people that I have around me. The great thing about the money that we raise is that 100% of every dollar goes to the cause. Each rider pays a $4000 fee to participate in this ride so that we cover all our own costs, from food, to clothing to transportation. Remax Kelowna and World Gym Kelowna have graciously taken care of this fee for my ride. Please come out to our next two events:
Upcoming Fundraising Events:
Outdoor Yoga in Centennial Square
- (by donation) on Sunday July 11th @ 9:30 am: Come and join lululemon and I and take Amy Chayko’s Downdawg yoga class in the sunny outdoors!
Spin-a Thon: the Corporate Costumed Challenge!
- Purchase a spot to ride beside me with a team for an hour, as I ride for 12 hours @ Sears Hillside mall.
- Don’t forget to find a team of 5 and dress up in a costume theme of your choice! Friday August 5th! 9am-9pm
For more information you can contact Siobhan at: Siobhan(dot)mcmanus(at)gmail(dot)com
And if you can’t make it out to these events, but are able to make a donation online, please do at: