Lloyd's top fundraiser pedalling for a repeat

By Geoff Lee

January 31, 2017 12:00 AM

ON THE ROAD AGAIN Brain cancer survivor, Jarrod Russell, pictured last summer with his sister, Lana Lane, plans to take part in the 2017 Great Cycle Challenge in June for kids' cancer after raising the most money in 2016. He also plans to host a charity golf tournament to raise additional funds. FILE LLS PHOTO

Lloydminster’s Jarrod Russell is banking on community support once again to help him fund a cure for kids’ cancer.
The 40 year-old brain cancer survivor has signed up for the 2017 Great Cycle Challenge to ride as many kilometres as possible over 30 days in June supported by donations.
He ended last year’s challenge as the top fundraiser in Canada for the SickKids Foundation with $22,958.98 in donations while covering 1,006.1 kilometres about town on a recumbent bike.
“As top national fundraiser in 2016, I am committed to leading the way again this year,” said Russell.
“Kids should be living life, not fighting for it—I am raising funds to help support the SickKids Foundation in its work to develop treatments and finally find a cure for childhood cancer.”
In 2016, Russell was one of 10,063 registered cycle challenge riders who collectively pedalled more than 1.9 million kilometres to raise more than $2.9 million to fight kids’ cancer.
His parents, Wayne and Barb Russell, were his biggest funding supporters in the 2016 cycle challenge with their $5,000 donation.
This year, he has set himself the same goal as last year to ride 600 km in June with his kilometres and daily route logged and mapped on the free downloadable cycle challenge app.
In addition to riding, Russell is also planning to host a charity golf tournament in June to raise additional funds and awareness.
He hasn’t come up with a name for the golf tournament yet, as he’s just started to organize it.
The cause to help kids with cancer is close to his heart as Russell was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour when he was just four years old.
“With hope, faith and determination, I battled with friends and family at my side,” he said.
“This is an important part of my journey and the experience has helped me develop into the person I am today.”
Russell underwent more than 30 radiation treatments for cancer.
That left him with a weak right side along with the onset of epilepsy, but his physical condition hasn’t slowed his drive to help others with the cycle challenge and upcoming charity golf fundraiser.
“I am here today to share my story and to use my strengths to fight for a great cause,” he said last week, noting he is motivated by the local support he drew last June to ride again.
Russell has been going to the Servus Sports Centre to work out and ride a stationary bike during the off season to maintain muscle tone.
“I set my goals to keep going every day,” he said.
Donations to support Russell’s rides can be made online at greatcyclechallenge.ca when the 2017 site is active in April.
Those who want to do the challenge themselves will also get a free app to connect them directly to a personal online challenge page to track their progress against others.

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