Cycling towards a cure: Burnaby RCMP cheers on Cops For Cancer riders during Tour de Coast


2022-09-26 18:39 PDT

Burnaby RCMP is proud to support this year’s Cops For Cancer Tour de Coast, an 800 km cycling journey raising money for childhood cancer research and support services.

On Monday, Sept. 26 the Tour de Coast made a stop outside Burnaby City Hall, where Cops for Cancer Day was proclaimed.

This year, the four members of Burnaby RCMP’s Cops For Cancer team raised more than $35,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. Since 1997 the initiative has raised almost $50 million, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Donations raised through Cops For Cancer are used for pediatric cancer research and also help support important programs for families, including Camp Goodtimes. Learn more here.

A man in cycling attire with his back to the camera beside Staff Sgt. Rob Wheeler and Sgt. (Ret) Tess Landry, who are smiling in cycling jerseys, helmets, and sunglasses.

Meet Burnaby RCMP’s Cops For Cancer team:

Staff Sgt. Rob Wheeler, Burnaby RCMP

Question: What inspired you to take part in Cops For Cancer?

Answer: Riding in Cops for Cancer is something I have wanted to do for the past 10 years. I joined policing to be able to help those who truly need help. My dad passing away from cancer in 2020 pushed me to do the ride for the first time last year. This is my second time riding in the Tour de Coast -- and this year my brother, an Inspector with the Vancouver Police Department -- is also riding, which provided me further inspiration to do the ride a second time.

The Wheeler brothers, dressed in cycling attire stand on either side of Burnaby RCMP's Officer In Charge on a sunny day outside Burnaby City Hall.

Question: Why is this cause important to you?

Answer: No one should have to battle cancer. But it is even more unfair for children who have not had a chance to truly live their lives to have to battle this horrible disease. Having the chance to spend time with the children at Camp Goodtimes in Maple Ridge further cemented how important this ride is -- as the funds raised go to pediatric cancer research as well as supporting programs such as Camp Goodtimes, where children affected by cancer get a chance to just be kids.

Question: How does it feel to contribute to the important cause of pediatric cancer research?

Answer: I am extremely humbled and proud to be able to play a small part in this cause. I am only a very small piece in this giant puzzle. While the riders work hard to raise the funds, it is our friends, co-workers, and strangers who choose to make the donations to the Canadian Cancer Society through Cops for Cancer year after year. I have heard many stories from so many people who have personally experienced pediatric cancer as a parent or relative of a child who is or has battled cancer and their amazing experience with Camp Goodtimes.

To the families affected, please know that you are not alone in this fight.

Sgt. Tess Landry (Ret)

Question: What is your history with Cops For Cancer?

Answer: This is my eighth year participating in Cops For Cancer. I did my first tour when I was posted in Smithers, B.C., and did the Tour de North in 2007. I even shaved my head -- it was a cold winter! I have been a rider in Tour de Coast for the last seven years in a row. While I am now retired after 28 years with the RCMP, I worked in Burnaby from 1994-2005 and then from 2015-2021, so a total of 17 years.

Sgt. Tess Landry (Ret) stands in cycling attire in front of flowers at Burnaby City Hall.

Question: Why is this cause important to you?

Answer: I love this cause because from being involved for so many years, I have been able to form relationships with the young kids and families who were going through their cancer journey. I’ve watched many of these kids grow up to thrive and survive. Sadly, we have also lost a couple of our honorary members in the last couple years -- therefore there is still work to be done.

I especially love that Cops for Cancer supports Camp Goodtimes, as I have heard from many of the families and kids that Camp Goodtimes made them realize that they were not alone in their journey.

Question: Who will you be thinking about when you ride?

Answer: This year I will be thinking about my dear friend Donna who was just diagnosed with ovarian cancer and also riding in memory of my friend Scott who just lost his battle with colon cancer this past May. I will be wearing their names on a necklace throughout the tour to remind me that no matter the weather, the hills or the chafing; it is nothing compared to what those diagnosed with cancer are going through.

A Cops For Cancer cycling jersey with three beaded necklaces atop with the names Tess, Scott, and Donna,

Cpl. Freda Fong, Burnaby RCMP

Question: What is your history with Cops For Cancer?

Answer: I have been involved with fundraising for Cops For Cancer since 2015, including organizing an annual fundraiser that raises money for Cops For Cancer and other charities.

The fundraising can be a lot of work but I continue to be motivated each year by the idea that a small number of people (police officers, first responders, and our extended community) can make such a huge difference.

Like most people, cancer has had an impact on my family and friends. I've personally witnessed my close family and friends deal with the trauma, loss, grief, and triumphs that cancer brings. Despite the different circumstances and emotional rollercoaster rides, one thing that remained a consistent, recurring theme is how highly patients and families speak of the care and support they received when they needed it most.

I decided to train for Cops For Cancer as a rider for the first time this year, but unfortunately could not continue with Tour de Coast due to an injury.

Question: What’s your message to the Tour de Coast riders this year?

Answer: Congratulations on getting this far, and best of luck on the tour!

A group of smiling Cops for Cancer cyclists approach Burnaby City Hall on their bikes.

Burnaby RCMP
6355 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby, BC, V5G 2J2
Office: 604-646-9900

Website: (English only)

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