This past weekend our Carley’s Angels set out once again to support The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, with the goal of curing cancer in our lifetime.
This year your Carley’s Angels raised over $110,000 making our 5 year total reach over $600,000 raised for Cancer Research!!
Every year we have the privilege and honour of welcoming new faces on to #teamcarley as her story spreads and reaches new audiences! Today, we’d like to celebrate those that have been with us since day one! This year marks the 5th year Carley’s Angels has been participating in the RTCC and we have a handful of #carleysangelslifers who have been riding with us since day 1.
Today, we hear from them… Our 5-year riders!
I first heard of the Ride to Conquer Cancer when I watched Carley sing the National Anthem in 2014, AFTER retraining herself to sing post- surgery. Her voice was raspy and soft and overwhelmingly beautiful. I remember hugging her and feeling so thankful she was still here with us after battling cancer. We decided right there we were going to ride next year in 2015.
I ride every year because Carley is the only person who could convince me to get on a road bike and ride over 200 km… five times. I made a commitment to her at that moment and I intend on keeping it.
Family is easily the most important thing in my life. And that’s largely due to the amazingly close family I grew up having. So when Carley sang the National Anthem at the Ride to Conquer Cancer in 2014 we were all there watching her belt out O Canada in the ionic yellow dress. That picture sits in my office today.
When Carley passed away in 2015 it wasn’t time for us to sit idly by. I signed up for the 2015 RTCC. Having Carley as inspiration made overcoming obstacles sort of easy. I didn’t think twice about fundraising while doing my masters or training on a borrowed bike where the gears shifted from a handle under my leg. I rode remembering a moment from a few years back. Carley and I ran the warrior dash, and as she passed me she said “you got this dan, keep going” in a hilarious but a little patronising way, as my little cousin almost 10 years younger then I and half my size whizzed by me with such ease. I remember her voice saying that every time I need to dig deep on the ride. That little reminder is how I’ve been able to ride 5 consecutive years.
I was on the inaugural RTCC in 2008 and, since then, I have been a proud participant in 11 of the 12 events. At first, I rode for the general goal of raising money for cancer research at Princess Margaret Hospital but, over the years, that goal became more personal as loved ones amongst my family and friend group fought their own battles with cancer. When Carley sadly succumbed to cancer in 2015, I joined team Carley’s Angels on its’ inaugural ride to honour her life and legacy. Since then my wife and three sons have joined the team. We all knew and fondly remember Carley and we have been impressed with the impact her life had (and continues to have) on so many others. It is an honour and inspiration to ride with team Carley’s Angels.
I rode my first RTCC in June 2012 with May. We did it because of an interest in cycling and the event was supporting a worthy cause. Both my mother (1995) and May’s father (2010) had passed from Cancer by this time. Carley’s diagnosis in Feb 2013 at age 17 was shocking. Riding in the memory of our beautiful daughter is difficult and exhilarating at the same time. The emotions that we go through on the ride are hard to describe. The ride is one of the highlights of our year and being apart of Carley’s Angels Team is a fitting tribute to our daughter.
6 years ago this June I was sitting in the back seat of our van and Carley leaned over the seat and said, “hey Sammy are you sure you want to ride in the Ride to Conquer Cancer?” I don’t even remember responding, but after that, I was signed up. I rode my first RTCC at the early early age of 16, on this day I also learned to how to ride (and fall off) a road bike. Every year someone on the ride still asks me if it’s my first year riding and I’m now able to say “Nope, I’m a gold helmet rider!”. Riding as I’ve grown up has been a really unique experience, it’s an emotional experience for sure, but I am so thankful.
Riding for Carley’s Angels for the past 5 years has been a true honour. Along with the fun and comradery over the 200+ kms, I am overwhelmed every year by the passion, determination, encouragement, and kindness that shines through from each and every member. However, it makes sense because these extraordinary characteristics are a complete reflection of Carley! She started this team, and Carley continues to inspire us to be our best every day, and, to always, always smile! Cheers to the next 5 years! xo
It’s not about the bike……. For me, it is about watching our young team grow every RTCC weekend for the last five years. We ride, we bond, we learn from each other, we laugh and cry and we know:
It’s not about the bike
It is about healing those who are sick.
It is about honouring those who have passed.
And it is about helping us all heal from the pain of those we have lost.
I miss Carley like crazy, but somehow every RTCC weekend I feel closer to her thanks to an exceptional group of people. Thank you Carley’s Angels RTCC team. I love you all.
Participating in the RTCC has always been a no brainer for me. I’m Carley’s Uncle and I love to cycle. So what better way to remember and celebrate Carley’s legacy.
What truly inspires me is the rest of the Carley’s Angels Team. Volunteers, selflessly putting in countless hours of their time. Riders, spirits high at the beginning of the ride then fading and finally pushing and fighting through every last kilometre.
I have witnessed this every year but it was never as evident as this past weekend. Ryan grinded his way through the finish line. Exhausted, out of breath and hunched over, Mark asked him if he was okay. Two words came out of Ryan’s mouth, “I’m spent”. That was it, there was nothing left.
Thank you Team Carley’s Angels. You are my inspiration.
Every year I am amazed by 2 things, 1) by the generosity of my friends and family and 2) by the turnover of team #carleysangels. Each year our team includes about 10 new 20-year-olds! I don’t think any other team can say that! We are the next generation of riders, donors and change makers, but we are here now riding alongside, learning from and getting ready to take the baton from those who have been fighting for decades! And I have never been more honoured to captain anything in my entire life, thank you Carley’s Angels for entrusting me and thank you, Carley, for starting the fight we intend on finishing. Here’s to another 5 years!
Inspired? Want to support the Carley’s Angels Foundation, click to GET INVOLVED, SHOP, or DONATE.