Tomorrow… We Ride!

Team Kortright Photo

(Rear – Left-right) Denise Zimmer, Tim Watson, Brian Watson, Helena Watson, Alex Gray, (Front) Dennis Gray, Daniel Bartozzi

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but tomorrow Team Kortright and I hit the road in the 5th Ride to Conquer Cancer. Last year the team raised just shy of $18000. This year we managed to top that slightly with the total being, as of this writing, $18,854.24.

Yep, 24 cents. Not sure exactly how three of us ended up with 8 cents each (likely something to do with door receipts from the Fireworks party) but there it is. It’s wonderful that we managed to top last year’s total. I’m very proud of all the members of the team, and exceedingly grateful to everyone who supported us.


There’s a couple of other things that are a little different this year. Up till now our connection to Kortright Church in Guelph has pretty much been in name only; but this year we have been granted small group status at Kortright making the connection official. It feels good because, despite what some might contend, names are important when it comes to a sense of belonging. The vast majority of Team Kortright (6 out of 7) attend KPC and we have often felt like we were in some kind of limbo; a part of the community but only at the fringes, like the weird aunt nobody really talks about. With official status as a small group we can now boldly declare our value to the community and one member of the team, Helena Watson, does that very well in this month’s issue of the Kortright Kronicles. You can read the article HERE.

The other change this time around is a little more personal. In 2008 I participated in the first Ride to Conquer Cancer. Though I had done other fund-raising efforts this one really hit home. Twenty four years earlier my brother Alex had his right arm & shoulder amputated when it was discovered he had the same cancer that took Terry Fox. Not long after that colon cancer took my father from us. I have cycled all my life and when the Ride came along I knew it was the perfect way for me to be a part of the fight. Alex drove me down to the CNE grounds that first cold Saturday morning, but he was unable to join me for a number of reasons.

But this year he and I will be riding together and I couldn’t be happier. His health has improved and he’s riding a great custom trike that was once the property of Dr. Robert Buckman. Dr. Buckman was a very popular oncologist at The Princess Margaret Hospital who had a reputation for making his patients feel at ease with a remarkable sense of humour. His work in educating the public on health matters and cancer in particular is legendary. If you get the chance check out the work he did with John Cleese.

My Brother Alex riding the trike he acquired from Dr. Robert Buckman.

The fact that my brother is riding in memory of Robert Buckman just adds to the positive feelings I have about this year’s Ride to Conquer Cancer. It’s shaping up to be the best ever. Once again thanks to everyone who has supported us, both financially and spiritually with prayers and encouragement.

See you in Niagara Falls on Sunday!

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