A White Rock RCMP officer is giving the gears to cancer this year, committing to cycle some 500 kilometres and help fundraise $100,000 in support of pediatric cancer research.
Const. Emma Dyer is among nearly two dozen officers who have signed up for the 2021 Cops for Cancer event, set for Sept. 20-24, as part of the Tour de Valley Riders.
For Dyer, whose father Kelly, was a Cops for Cancer rider about a decade ago, getting involved was an easy decision – a “natural” step, if you will.
“For me, exercise is a big part of my life, so why not put helping the community raising money for a good cause and exercise together?” she said. “It was kind of a win in both ways.”
As well, “growing up, that’s just always been what I’ve been raised around, is just doing community things and helping out.”
Dyer has already exceeded her personal fundraising goal of $4,000 by more than 25 per cent, with $5,250 donated to the cause in her name. Her team’s overall goal to raise $100,000 is also in sight – as of Thursday (Sept. 2), they were closing in on $96,000.
At least four of her counterparts in Surrey – Hwan Lee, Martine Bembenek, Trish Douglas and Leandre Melançon – are also clipping in for the cause. As of Thursday, the five had collectively raised just over $21,500.
While Dyer helped her dad fundraise during his Cops for Cancer ride, this year marks her first time actually suiting up for the team. Training and fundraising got underway in March, and she’s done everything from logging 120-plus kilometres in a day and participating in a 12-hour spinathon, to offering homemade cookies as a fundraising “bribe.”
“I actually… mailed cookies to Fernie,” she said, noting the East Kootenay town was her first post as an RCMP officer.
Each rider on the tour completes the trek for a child, whose name they carry on their bike over the course of the journey.
In 2018, White Rock Const. Carly Godlien rode for Surrey youngster, Cameron Bulger, who was the grandson of one of the detachment’s longtime volunteers. Sadly, Cameron passed away in May of 2020.
Dyer said while she doesn’t yet know whose name she’ll have on her bike – due to the pandemic, the team wasn’t able to visit Camp Goodtimes to meet the honorary riders – she does know that when the going gets tough, she won’t complain.
“Even the other day I rode and it was pouring rain out and to be honest, the last thing you want to do is go for a bike ride in the rain,” she said.
“Then it goes in my head – you know what? What are these kids doing? Cancer doesn’t pick the day it’s going to come or the day you gotta go for chemo. So, really, a ride in the rain is nothing in hindsight to what they go through.”
Since its launch in 1997 – the event was started by one police officer – Cops for Cancer has raised almost $48 million “to increase survival rates and support children living with cancer and their families.”
To support Dyer’s effort or that of any of the Tour de Valley Riders, visit support.cancer.ca and click on the ‘Donate’ button.
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