Deborah Scott’s daughter was just two when they first realized she had problems with her vision. At five, the little girl was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa – a rare genetic eye disease.
At that time, Scott was introduced to Fighting Blindness Canada, a non-profit organization raising and directing funds to accelerate the development and availability of treatments and cures.
Inspired by its mission, Scott decided to participate in its events and fundraisers.
“We have been involved with them ever since.”
It has been 15 years now for Scott, and the Vancouver resident is always ready to make time to help the organization even if it means sore muscles.
Taking part in the ninth annual Cycle For Sight event Saturday, June 11, Scott covered 30 kilometres on her bike, raising awareness and funds for Fighting Blindness Canada. She was joined by fellow West Coast riders, who used the West Langley Hall as their starting point.
She was part of a 15-member team named Hendo’s Heroes, which was among the top three teams. Her riders have raised about $40,000 so far.
The top teams alone have raised about $77,000 this year, taking the organization closer to its 2022 goal of raising $175,000. The organization is more than half way there.
With many participating and cheering for their loved ones, who have vision problems, one person that Scott could relate to was Burt Henderson.
A father of two, Henderson said he rides for his kids. His daughter and son both have Stargardt, a rare genetic eye disease.
Part of the same team, Henderson alone has raised $12,233 so far for the cause, making him the top fundraiser of the year. His wife, Christina, isn’t that far, though. On the second spot, she has raised $12,001 so far.
“I am riding them (the kids) and helping the foundation raise money. Hopefully one day we will find a cure for my kids and everybody else affected by the eye diseases,” he said.
In total, 70 riders participated in the annual Cycle For Sight charity event. Hosted by volunteer committee members, the event also had live music, merchandise, slushies by donation, and free lunch cooked on-site.
Lia Moscone, a local resident, has been part of the committee for about eight years. Her niece and nephew both have Stargardt disease. Moscone is well-aware that they both will go blind eventually, and hence the cause means “the world” to her.
MS rolled through Aldergrove
Other organizations raising money through cycling events included the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society of Canada.
The 24th annual Fraser Valley MS Bike event took place this past Saturday and Sunday. Starting at Otter Co-op, cyclists travelled east through Abbotsford before heading back to Langley City.
Organized by the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society of Canada, the MS Bike “brings communities and cyclists together to build awareness for multiple sclerosis and raise funds for MS research and services that are fundamental to changing lives,” said Kyla Arsenault, senior director, community fundraising, MS Society of Canada.
“The MS Bike is a testament to the resilience of the MS community who have faced tremendous uncertainty, on top of an already uncertain disease, throughout this pandemic. Regardless of where or how they cycle, MS Bike participants are taking collective action to diminish that uncertainty and move us closer to a world free of MS,” she added.
Upcoming cycle fundraiser
Another one lined up for Saturday, June 25, is GearUp4CF, a cycling event that starts in White Rock and goes through the communities south of the Fraser, including the Township of Langley.
It is scheduled between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in South Langley and raises money for Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
While the event begins in White Rock and ends in Chilliwack, cyclists will, of course, travel through Langley and Aldergrove for part of this scenic ride.
Motorists can expect to see them along Zero, 4th, and 8th Avenues, as well as 204th, 216th, and 264th Streets.
Registration is $80. And, for information on how to register or to learn of other ways to support the cause, people can visit: https://www.gearup4cf.com/
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