As her father was receiving treatment for bladder cancer last year, Karen Ingram felt compelled to take action.
She joined her longtime friend Mark Dunn and his team on their Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting The Campbell Family Institute at Princess Margaret Hospital. It’s where her dad, Roy Ferris, was being treated.
“He thought it was such a great experience. He did it again last year with his brothers and dad,” Ingram said of her friend Dunn who participated in his first ride three years ago in honour of a friend’s mother, who died from cancer.
Sadly, Ingram’s father succumbed to his disease in September 2012 – just three months after her ride.
“It’s a crummy disease,” said the Junction resident. “It impacts an increasing number of people.”
And, so when the opportunity to ride again arose, Ingram didn’t hesitate. In fact, she has become quite a “keen” cyclist since partaking in the Toronto to Niagara Falls excursion. The event is not just for athletes or cycling enthusiasts. The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer is for anyone who wants to challenge themselves for a great cause. The requirements: motivation, a bike and a helmet.
The ‘Get it Dunn’ cycling team is comprised of 27 members, most of whom reside in Bloor West and Roncesvalles villages and The Junction. It boasts people ages 16 to 76, a family and friends team that has reached the top 10 in fundraising of all the teams signed up.
“Our team is composed of local parents, clergy, a Swansea firefighter and teachers,” said Ingram, who is co-captain along with Dunn. “We’ve been gearing up intensively over the last month.”
This year, Ingram’s husband Will, joins her on the ride. Their kids, ages 10, eight and six, are proud of their parents and enthusiastic, according to their mom.
“They were well aware of my dad’s cancer journey. They know why I did it last year. They’re excited for us,” she said. “They’ve made posters.”
The team needs to raise a total of $70,000 in order to participate – $2,500 each cyclist. Its first major fundraising event, ‘Bikes, Bands and Bites,’ takes place at The Whistler’s Grille, 995 Broadview Ave., Sunday, Feb. 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be music, a silent auction and a 50/50 draw. Donations of $8 for students, seniors and children and $12 for adults are requested.
On March 21, the team hosts the Wham Glam Cover band ‘Moebius Stripper’ at 3030, a bar in the Junction (3030 Dundas Street W.), starting at 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $20, $25 at the door. Again, there will be a silent auction and 50/50 draw.
If you would like further details, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and visit to13.conquercancer.ca