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Matthew Acheson is a six-time Ride to Conquer Cancer participant, riding to both celebrate his resilience in the face of cancer and support others going through the same experience.  In 1994, at the age of 26, Matthew was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Twenty-three years later, he is healthy and already excited about the next Ride with Team Taylor. He started to ride after his friend Steve created Team Taylor in honour of his son Taylor who passed away of cancer.

In his own words, this cancer survivor and Rider shares his cancer care experience at BC Cancer.

Who in your life has received treatment at BC Cancer?

In the spring of 1994, I was experiencing intense pain that would not go away. After many confusing and worrisome trips to my doctor, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer… Making matters worse, my tumours were highly irregular, growing in sheets rather than lumps and growing fast. My oncologist kept telling me that I was going to be okay, but I never really believed him. Turns out, he was right.

Can you describe how you felt when you first heard the cancer diagnosis?

I dealt with my diagnosis very poorly. I became despondent, living each day as though it was my last, but not in a productive way. It was only thanks to the support of a strong presence in my life that I decided to change my frame of mind.

Beyond the cancer care received, what was it like at BC Cancer?

The medical professionals at BC Cancer saved my life. I have an immense amount for gratitude for the doctors, scientists, nurses and staff there. I was angry and difficult, and they never let that get in the way.

What would you say of BC Cancer’s bedside manner?

They interacted with poise and professionalism. The staff at BC Cancer always treated me with much compassion and I always felt in capable hands. This hospital is staffed by some of the most genuine people, and I am grateful for the care they offered me throughout my difficult journey.

What has life been like since treatment?

Everything that I have in my life I owe to BC Cancer. When I decided give back to the world for saving me, I took up The Ride as a discipline. Whether by gearing up to do The Ride yourself or donating to the cause, I encourage you to take this opportunity to support the BC Cancer Foundation in its mission of conquering cancer.

Would you recommend  BC Cancer to others going through the same situation?

Without a doubt. Cancer is a wily opponent; it is an umbrella term for many diseases and each one needs a cure. That is why this work is so important. Please give generously today.

Next August, Tom Lefkovits will be participating in his fourth Ride to Conquer Cancer® Presented by Wheaton Precious Metals™ benefiting BC Cancer Foundation.

He shares how his passion for The Ride, combined with his national pride, made it an easy choice to sign up for this event…

“I fell in love with cycling in 2009 when I moved to Whistler from Montreal. Being able to do my favourite activity in such a beautiful and breathtaking country makes any ride wonderful. Any time I hop on my bike, the movements feel effortless, as I’m captivated by this country’s beauty…

My father underwent treatment for bladder cancer in Montreal at the Lakeshore General Hospital. He sadly passed away at 68. For my entire life, I have worked in the hotel and hospitality business, which has resulted in a lot of travelling. When I finally got to see my dad, he was on his deathbed, so sedated that he could barely recognize me. I wish I could change this, but I can’t. So instead, I ride.

That I am able to do the sport I love, in the country that I love, all in the effort to raise money to conquer cancer, is a dream come true. I love cycling because I can clear my head, turn off the world and be in my own space… Almost every one of us can say that we know someone affected by cancer, and with the leading work being done in Canada, I think we’re getting closer to having a world free from the disease.

We just have to keep pedalling.”

In 2016, Ali Miri joined thousands of others for the first time in The Ride to Conquer Cancer® Presented by Wheaton Precious Metals™ benefiting BC Cancer Foundation.

Making the 200-kilometre journey alongside his brother, sister, wife and brother-in-law, Ali captained the team Sholeh in honour of his mother who had passed away from lymphoma only a month earlier.

In his own words, this devoted son and Rider shares his mother’s cancer care experience at BC Cancer.

Can you describe how you felt when you first heard of your mother’s cancer diagnosis?

My mom was diagnosed in 2015 with a rare type of lymphoma. It was a very tough emotional journey for the whole family to watch her deteriorate from a very capable woman to a helpless and weak person. Although we remained hopeful that she would recover, reality hit on June 17, 2016, when her doctor told us she had only limited time left.

Can you describe the treatment experience? 

It is heartbreaking to see your own mother go from being a strong woman to someone who is not strong at all. After many rounds of chemotherapy, our mom passed away on July 19, 2016… surrounded by family and friends from across the world. Still today, recounting her experience is emotional, but our family is grateful for everything the staff at BC Cancer did for her.

How has the BC Cancer Foundation impacted your life?

[W]e have nothing but positive things to say about the treatment and care our mom received at BC Cancer. And while it may have been too late for our mom, participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer allows us to raise vital funds to make sure no one else has to lose loved ones to this terrible disease.

What has life been like since your family’s cancer journey? 

The Ride is 200 kilometres and not without its challenges. However, it’s nothing compared to what my mom endured over the last year of her life. I’m very proud of her for putting up such a great fight and immensely grateful for the staff that made sure my mom was comfortable during even the most difficult times.

What has life been like since your mom’s passing?

My family has truly come together during this difficult time. While I always had a close bond with my siblings, my mom’s battle brought us together even more so through our Ride experience. My mom shared one of her last wishes my sister, saying, “No matter what happens to me, make sure you support each other, as I did for you.”

In November 2015, Jacqueline Zweng was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. The following July, she finished chemotherapy and underwent hormone treatments, which lasted until this past May. She also completed 28 consecutive radiation treatments from August to September 2016 at BC Cancer.

This single mother and Rider shares why it was so important to provide a strong example to her daughter while going through her cancer care experience.

“I will be the first to say that going through treatment while caring for a daughter on your own is no easy feat. Still, I made it my goal to show my daughter not to limit herself.

I want her to do what she feels she can do. A cancer diagnosis is scary, but I didn’t want my daughter to associate fear with defeat. So throughout treatment, I biked and ran. Cycling and running helped with my overall wellbeing and helped me work through the physical and mental tolls from treatments. It kept me strong, something I needed to be for my daughter and to better my own health.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer® Presented by Wheaton Precious Metals™ benefiting BC Cancer Foundation soon became my focus and I completed my first Ride in 2016. My daughter came with me to the opening ceremony in Vancouver. Here she saw me hop on my bike and ride alongside thousands of others, yellow flag standing tall…

Already, I am gearing up for my next Ride. I’ve seen the impact of dollars raised through The Ride, and I’ve experienced the camaraderie leading up to and during the event. Nothing can compare to the feeling of standing in a sea of Riders at the start line, knowing that the impact we’re making will change the future of cancer for our children.

This year I am very proud to be a part of Team Nova, a group from Vancouver Island that is dedicated to raising funds and supporting each other during The Ride. My daughter will again be present at the opening ceremony and is set to join our support team throughout the two days.

I’m asking you to take the challenge with me. We will sweat, and the stories we hear will make us cry, but with every push of the pedal, we’re helping to save lives!”

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Phasellus consequat orci ultricies sapien placerat, nec gravida nibh volutpat. Donec eu nulla arcu. Ut ultrices in turpis fermentum suscipit.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Phasellus consequat orci ultricies sapien placerat, nec gravida nibh volutpat. Donec eu nulla arcu. Ut ultrices in turpis fermentum suscipit.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Phasellus consequat orci ultricies sapien placerat, nec gravida nibh volutpat. Donec eu nulla arcu. Ut ultrices in turpis fermentum suscipit.

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