Lloyd rider in race to be No. 1 fundraiser in Canada

By Geoff Lee

June 30, 2016 12:00 AM

Lloydminster's Jarrod Russell is the top fundraiser in Canada for the Sick Kids Foundation in the national Great Cycle Challenge. His sister Tami is one of his biggest supporters. The challenge ends today with Russell also exceeding his cycle goal to ride more than 600km in June.

Jarrod Russell expects to find himself as the top fundraiser in Canada for the Sick Kids Foundation when the Great Cycle Challenge ends today.
The 40-year-old brain cancer survivor from Lloydminster led more than 10,000 registered riders by June 28, having raised more than $20,406, more than tripling his initial goal of $6,000.
He was about $3,000 ahead of the second place fundraiser from Saskatchewan and shocked by his total so far.
“I didn’t believe I would get a cent of that,” he said when he began his daily challenge rides around town on his recumbent bike on the first day of June.
“In my first year, I thought I was just going to go on the easy side and meet my goal and here I am with $20,000 and still at it.”
Incredibly, Russell has also ridden more than 678km logged on a GPS app with some extra motivation to double his last few rides upon hearing some sad news from the foundation.
“Today, I found out a four year old died with cancer and I said I was going to double my ride for him just for the honour of the kid,” said Russell,  who was diagnosed with cancer when he was the same age.
He underwent more than 30 radiation treatments that paralysed part of his body while giving him an iron will to help others.
“We’re pretty proud of him,” said his youngest sister Tami Kappel.
“He’s always been wanting to do some sort or a fundraiser or put his efforts towards raising money for these kids because, obviously, it was an experience he went through.”
She said her parents got a lot of help through Ronald McDonald House when Russell went through cancer treatments and they know how hard it is on families.
“This money is going to help everyone else who goes through a similar process,” said Tami.
Money for Russell’s rides is donated online at the greatcyclechallenge.ca/Riders/JarrodQRussell from friends, family and supporters.
Russell’s parents,  Wayne and Barb Russell, received an e-mail from the foundation Tuesday thanking them for their $5,000 donation made on June 15 on a special donation match day.
That netted an extra $4,200 to Russell’s total.
“It just came through today and it said ‘we would really like to thank you’ and that the money is well spent,” said Tami about the e-mail.
She said the foundation also gave a description of how they go about using the money for research to find a cure for cancer.
Tami said the outpouring of support for Russell’s ride has been incredible.
“We’ve had support from not only Lloydminster, but across Canada,” she said noting Payless Car 7 Truck Wash set up a donation box for Jarrod’s cause.
Russell also has one on his bike now that people know who he is and what he is trying to accomplish.
“They didn’t know me before they had all the paper articles,” he said.
“I’m on TV; it’s surprising.”
Tami said Russell’s Great Cycle Challenge shirt also helps with advertising for the foundation.
“He’s been wearing that every day,” she said.

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