Starting this Saturday, Aug. 1, Noni Belland of Kimberley will be taking part in the Great Cycle Challenge to fight children’s cancer. Over the month of August, Belland, 67, will be working towards a goal of 300 kilometres and raising funds for the SickKids Foundation.
“I’ve been biking quite a bit during this summer, with COVID and everything, you’ve to to do something individually,” Belland said. “So I’ve been probably biking every two days and my plan is to do 30 kilometres a day, or maybe every two days. From here to Cranbrook you get lots of kilometres.
“If I beat my 300 kilometres then that’s great!”
If she hits her target by the middle of the month, she is able to increase it. Originally, she had set a fundraising goal of $500, but as of Thursday, July 30, two days before she even begins cycling, she has already surpassed that goal and is sitting at $820 raised so far.
Bellend heard about the challenge over social media. All the funds go to the SickKids Foundation out of Toronto, for prevention treatment and research on children’s cancer.
“My sister is a breast cancer survivor,” she said. “I just had an aunt recently pass from breast cancer and I heard of a niece that I didn’t know about previously, but she died a lot younger from cancer. And I had a good friend where I used to work she passed away from cancer and I have another friend nearby who’s a cancer survivor.”
Although she’s already surpassed her fundraising target, Belland will be raising money all throughout the month of August, and people can make a donation by searching Noni Belland at www.greatcyclechallenge.ca
On her page, Belland wrote that she’s doing this challenge “because right now over 1400 children are diagnosed with cancer every year and it’s the biggest killer of children from disease in Canada. Kids should be living life, not fighting for it.”
“I don’t have any children involved that I know of,” she said, “but I thought if you can catch it then and do a lot of research on it and see if there’s other factors — you just hate to see kids sick, and I know that there’s people that I know that have sick children, so you’ve got to help out some how and this is at least one thing that I can do.”
Belland has been sending emails to friends and sharing her page over social media to bring attention to her endeavour.
“I had an anonymous donation of $5 and it’s like, that is awesome,” Belland said. “Whatever people can give is great.”
She added that the more people that know about it the better, as even if you don’t know someone directly who has been impacted by cancer, somebody else you know might be.
“In any way, you’re indirectly helping others,” she said. “That’s what we’ve got to do right now, we’ve got to stick together and do our part.”
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.