1. What drew you to the Healing Cycle Foundation?
Early in 2016, I bought a new bike at Via Ciclante in Streetsville. The owner, known as “JP” happened to mention he had had an experience with a loved one in palliative care, and that he had helped to found The Healing Cycle Foundation. He told me about the annual ride that would be held in June. I looked it up, and registered with a team for the 2016 Ride. A few weeks before the Ride, however, I fell off my bike on the trails around Hilton Falls, and needed surgery to repair my elbow. (My new bike was fine!) So I was there in June with my team - Heart House Hospice - but didn’t ride.
2. How many years have your ridden in the Healing Cycle Ride?
This year will be my fifth year of participation. My daughter and I rode in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 rides.
3. Why do you ride for hospice/palliative care in Ontario?
I also have had personal experience with palliative care. Both my parents spent their last couple of weeks in palliative care at St Vincent de Paul Hospital in Brockville. My family and I learned that when one is nearing the end and is not seeking curative treatment, but does require care and comfort through the days and nights, palliative care provides a much needed service. We also learned that very little funding is provided by our provincial health system, and that most hospitals in fact do not have a Palliative Care Unit. This is why hospices are so important, providing in-home as well as hospice care for that end-of-life period. So that’s why this fund-raising event is important to me. Plus, at 71, I still enjoy riding!
4. Do you have a favourite memory from a previous Ride or do you have a find memory of a hospice interaction you would be comfortable sharing?
I guess my memorable event was the 2016 ride – a hot day at the Brampton Fairgrounds on Heart Lake Road. Since I wasn’t riding, my wife and I helped at the registration tables and did odd jobs. I even flipped burgers or chicken thighs on the BBQ! There were several hundred riders, plenty of food and drink, and a lovely awards ceremony.
The photo below is from June 2017, with Bill in the red #140 and his daughter in yellow and white #101.