It’s meant many hours away from family and friends, fewer weekends with her common-law spouse at their newly constructed cabin, and other personal sacrifices.
But Langley RCMP Const. Rochelle Carr doesn’t regret for a moment giving all that up this spring and summer to prepare for the Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley – which kicks off Thursday from Fort Langley.
“Cancer is a terrible illness that no child should have to endure,” Carr said. “Doing something like this to help kids with cancer seems like a no brainer to me.”
Carr is one of 23 law enforcement riders from across the Fraser Valley who is embarking on a 750-kilometre, nine-day, 10-community bike ride to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) – and specifically to help children with the disease.
This Mountie, a 10-year veteran of the national police force, is no stranger to Cops for Cancer.
She first rode in the Tour de Rock in 2011, when she was stationed on Vancouver Island, then pitched in as a member of the support crew in 2013 and 2016.
“I have always worked closely with kids. I have been able to see how much one person can really impact a child’s life,” Carr said. “Cops for Cancer is a very positive way for police to interact with kids and for a good cause.”
In the months leading up to this year’s ride, the Abbotsford resident has been training with other members of the tour, as well riding a fair bit on her own.
“I have trained on hills, as well as some longer rides out to Cultus Lake and Harrison,” Carr said.
Asked what’s the sorest part of her body is right now? Carr said it’s her right knee. She had ACL surgery almost two years ago, and “it acts up every once in a while.”
While grateful for good health and fearful of jinxing herself, Carr said: “I have been very fortunate to remain healthy throughout the journey, so far.”
For many riders, the most difficult aspects of preparing for Cops for Cancer’s Tour de Valley is not the physical training, but the fundraising commitment. Each rider must raised at least $6,000.
Although she grew up in Aldergrove, Carr only transferred to the Langley RCMP’s general intelligence section four months ago. Since then, she said her peers and everyone at detachment in general have been very supportive in giving her the time needed to prepare for the tour as well as a lot of financial support.
She’s already managed to raise about $7,000.
Other Langley faces on the ride
Carr is not the only Langley RCMP member participating in the Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley this week.
Langley’s Insp. Peter Jadis will be joining the tour for at least one day.
Cpl. Craig Van Herk rides again.
He is the road boss – the man who builds the route and “literally without him tour wouldn’t happen,” said Rachelle Perkins, the CCS annual giving coordinator.
And also on the team is Katrina Lieberman, who works as the Langley RCMP’s crime prevention coordinator. She will again be driving the “rider care” vehicle throughout the tour, as she’s done for the past few years.
Starting off in Langley
The team will be spending much of the day on Thursday, as well as Friday morning riding through Langley.
With 125 stops planned during the nine-day ride, many of those are in Langley, including the kickoff ceremony at the Chief Sepass Theatre and Langley Fine Arts School in Langley Thursday, Sept. 21 at 9:30 a.m.
Other stops Thursday include breakfast at Denny’s in Walnut Grove, lunch at Chipotle on the Langley Bypass, plus a stop at Brookswood Coast Capital and Cedarbrook Bakery Friday morning at 10 a.m.
“It would be wonderful to have people in the community come out and cheer us on,” said the annual giving coordinator Rachelle Perkin.
The support of the community is critical, she elaborated.
“Now, more than ever, we need your generous support,” Perkin said.
“More than 83 per cent of childhood cancer patients will survive five years past diagnosis. While progress is being made, we know that more needs to be done because every year, almost 945 children under the age of 15 are diagnosed with cancer in Canada,” she elaborated.
“We believe that one child with cancer is one too many.”
The ride starts today and wraps up on Friday, Sept. 29 in Surrey, but it includes a tour of South Surrey, White Rock, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Hope, Boston Bar, Mission, Delta, Ladner, and Tsawwassen.