Peace River cyclists raise thousands for kids with cancer

Ben Thomas
Tony Nickonchuk

Susan Thompson
Express Staff

Local pharmacist Tony Nickonchuk of Peace River committed to cycling 100km each day for three days through the Canadian Rockies as part of the Tour for Kids Alberta fundraiser.

“We ride for kids with cancer, to raise money for Camp Kindle, so they can have an experience every kid should get: a week at summer camp,” Nickonchuk announced on a Facebook post just before his ride on the stunning Icefield Parkway.

“I personally have dedicated my ride to Ben Thomas, an adorable little dude who is going through treatment for a Wilms tumor. 30 weeks of chemo and removal of a 15 cm tumour are trials no one should have to face, let alone a five year old kid and his family.”

“Thanks to the abundant generosity of my friends and family, I raised just over $3500, enough to send two kids to camp.

My team, Team #timhortonshttps://www.facebook.com/hashtag/timhortons?source=feed_text&epa=HASHTAG, raised just over $25,000,” Nickonchuk said.

Jeremy Hand at Avenge Energy donated $550 to finally put Nickonchuk over his fundraising goal. Caribou Cresting also donated his jersey stenciling in honour of Ben.

Nickonchuk’s teammate, Gordon Drummond, has participated in the fundraiser every year since his son Clark went into remission from cancer.

As a whole, the Tour for Kids Alberta has raised $271,590 of its $300,000 goal, with 16 teams, 117 people, and 1417 donations to date.

“Here’s to all the kids and their families who go through as much pain and challenges every day that we riders will go through over 3 days,” Nickonchuk said.

“But we will be able to go back to our lives, not worrying about spending a huge portion of them fighting an awful illness, all the while fearing the worst but hoping for the best.”

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