More than $30,000 was raised by the 15th annual Ride for Doug held in Langley earlier this summer.
But hopesof topping that up and giving more coin to Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC) through a sister ride on Vancouver Island in a few weeks have been dashed – at least for 2021.
Ride for Doug is a fundraising motorcycle ride held each year in the Fraser Valley, and hosted by 18-year-old Doug Penner and his Langley family to – primarily – raise money and awareness for muscular dystrophy.
When Doug was three, he was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. That’s when his father, Cam, conceived of the idea for a 200-kilometre charity motorcycle ride through the Valley – in aid of MDC.
Several years ago now, retired firefighter Kerry Zado developed a similiar – albeit smaller – Ride for Doug on the Island. The first year there were three participants (including Zado and Doug), and at peak in 2019 there were close to 40 – including about 15 or 20 riders from the Lower Mainland, Doug and family among them.
It was announced this past week that the Island ride has been cancelled for 2021, confirmed Penner.
Typically, the Island run – which has been on-again-off-again through the years for several reasons – is held in July. Unable to secure marshalling space for the event, it got pushed back to early September and eventually cancelled completely for the year, Penner explained.
“Difficulties in arranging space have forced the postponement for one year,” Penner elaborated. “It’s unfortunate… we will hope 2022 brings back some normality.”
Doug is a little disheartened by the news, but understands. Penner noted how everyone has mastered the art of adapting and pivoting in the past year plus due to COVID, and this is no exception.
“Doug is always disappointed when any ride gets cancelled,” Penner chuckled, noting his son’s enthusiasm to get out on the bike at any opportunity. “But he’s not crushed. There’s always next year.”
Specifically, Ride for Doug raises money for MDC that aids in research for a cure, help with equipment purchases, and support for families with neuromuscular disorders. Plus, when specified, some of the money generated through the years has been used to help fund a stairlift and an accessible van for the Penner family.
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