After years of working with kids ill with cancer, a Comox Valley licenced practical nurse will be in the saddle for the 2022 Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock as a guest rider.
Robin Campbell was born and raised in the Comox Valley. For many years she has been working with Cups for Cancer, an equestrian group that provides children with cancer an opportunity to ride horses and raises money for cancer research.
Campbell now feels she wants to make a bigger contribution. She adds seeing the research advancements and personal experiences have made her want to give back more to kids with cancer.
“The past year, Amaya, a beautiful little girl, got to ride my horse Tiny Dancer. She was not well the day of our ride when we introduced her and the Tour de Rock team,” she recalled. “Just taking her in on my horse and standing there and having all these other people supporting her, it lit up her eyes.”
Campbell says she’s been able to spend more time with Amaya’s family and will continue to do so. She says seeing the improvements Amaya has had motivates her to keep helping.
It is an experience that has been very profound in her life, as she tears up recalling the story.
“It warms my heart and I want to keep doing what I can to help these little people,” she said. “I just feel fortunate that I can experience this with their family and I’m giving them a little bit of hope.”
A team of riders from all across Vancouver Island has been announced recently for 2022. They include members from fire departments, police detachments, hospital workers and others.
Campbell says training began in March, and the goal is to ride long days as the tour approaches. Riders will be coming from Port Alice and heading down to Victoria with multiple community stops along the way, a total distance of over 1,200 kilometres.
She says the training is frequent but has been going well as the season begins.
“In April, we started doing three days a week. One of the days of the week is a hill night and we go out and ride 30 or 40 kilometres and find some hills, some ‘tasty treats’ as our trainers call them,” she said. “Two days later we’ll have another ride, like a speed ride, and gradually build up our stamina.”
Along with the training, participants have to do their own fundraising to take part in the ride.
Campbell is planning her fundraisers and hopes to get a few barbecues at local stores in town as well as have a QR code for her Cops for Cancer webpage.
Her sponsors from Cups for Cancer and local schools will also be helping her out.
She says she hopes she can bring more hope to kids and families through her participation in the event.