A week ago I participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer with seven of my work colleagues. We joined over 1800 cyclists from across the province of Alberta as they rode over 230km over a weekend. Collectively our team raised over $43,000, adding to the over $8,000,000 this single event raised in the fight against cancer.
It’s said a picture is worth a thousand words, than I guess a video must be worth a million words. Below is a short 10 minute video I produced to capture the event’s highlights. Enjoy.
The majority of the people riding in this event were your everyday person and I couldn’t find a single person that hasn’t somehow been personally affected by cancer, either personally or through a close friend or relative.
I write this blog with the intent to increase the quality of life through providing readers information about diet, exercise and general healthy lifestyle choices. During the weekend, I listened to the many stories about people that had cancer and lost the fight, and those that won the fight. But as I listened, I found myself making a mental tally how many cases were the result of “bad cards” vs how many were because of “bad habits”. It didn’t take long to realize the majority were the result of poor lifestyle choices. Obviously, this is not a scientific study, but the point I’m trying to make, is that many people contract cancer because they have adopted unhealthy habits from their parents, or friends and without even knowing it they find themselves running directly towards a serious cancer event.
Too many of these cases is simply a lack of education regarding the risk factors beyond genetics. For example, eating a diet that’s high in acid, is a breeding ground for cancer (the typical North American diet, especially soft drinks and alcohol are very acidic), or not eating foods that are high in antioxidants, that remove free radicals that cause oxidative stress, which may lead to cancer. In the absence of information, people will do what others do with little consideration to the consequences.
The other comment I heard over and over again during the weekend was how cancer caught the person by surprise. Cancer is generally a disease that takes years or decades to develop to the point of crisis. Except for the people that were given “bad cards”, cancer should never come as a surprise. If you are overweight (BMI greater than 24.8, which is now over 55% of all Canadians), or you smoke (21% of Canadians), or you drink more than the safe limit of alcohol (one drink a day for women, two for men), or if you don’t exercise daily, etc. etc. then don’t be surprised if one day cancer knocks on your door. The decisions you make today about your health will affect you decades from now.
Regardless of how or why a person contracts cancer, this disease affects more than that individual, and events such as the Ride to Conquer Cancer raise much needed awareness in addition to the funding needed for scientific research that hopeful brings a day when we live in a cancer free world. Until that time comes, take it upon yourself and make healthy lifestyle choices for you and your loved ones.
Enjoy the Ride.....Rob