Hero status for Jarrod

By Geoff Lee

June 22, 2017 12:00 AM

Jarrod Russell is now an official caped crusader in the fight to cure kid’s cancer.
The 41-year-old Lloydminster brain cancer survivor earned a 2017 Hero Jersey during a special Kick Cancer’s Butt Day in the national Great Cycle Challenge.
Funds raised on June 15 were subject to matched donations to the SickKids Foundation of up to $200,000 by an anonymous supporter of the cycle challenge.
Russell’s matched donation of $10,603.57 brought his fundraising total in the Great Cycle Challenge to $28,299.56 by June 16.
That was nearly $20,000 more than the second place fundraiser on the leaderboard.
The bonus day made Russell the top fundraiser in Canada, as he was a year ago, when he finished his 30 days of bike rides in June with $22,985.98 raised to help fight kid’s cancer.
“Two years in a row; it’s pretty good,” said Russell, who rides about 30 km a day around town on his recumbent bike to complete his goal to ride 1,050 km by June 30.
So far, he has completed more than 500 km.
His bike routes and daily distances are logged on a cycle challenge app with his fund total posted on the greatcylechallenge.ca website.
His first-place fundraising total was boosted by a last minute $5,000 donation by his parents, Barbara and Wayne Russell, which guaranteed him a Hero Jersey.
The caped jerseys were designed by kids undergoing cancer treatment and made available to any Great Cycle Challenge participate who raised $2,500 on Kick Cancer’s Butt day.
More than 1,400 children are diagnosed with cancer every year in Canada.
Lloydminster’s caped cancer crusader recently raised $3,600 during his Wings of the Warrior Golf Tournament.
“It’s for the kids,” said Russell.
When asked if and how he plans to top his fundraising efforts next year, Russell said he just takes things one day at a time.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow,” he joked.
The radiation treatments he underwent as a kid left him partly paralyzed and weaker on one side of his body, but he is getting fitter as his month of rides progresses.
“I’m on my bike getting more kilometres in,” he said, after finding it tough going at first.
As for the weather, that’s not an issue for Russell.
“I ride in the rain and in thunder and lightning; the lightning just lit up the sky,” he said.
He said he’s also finding different routes to travel.

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