Tour De Rock makes an important stop in Sooke
SOOKE, B.C. -- On Wednesday morning, Lily Lechinana and her mother Meredith are getting the house prepped for some very special visitors.
“I’m really excited,” says Lily. “I can’t wait to see them.”
Lily says she’s a bit nervous and has butterflies in her stomach.
Lily is nervous because last year she was a Tour De Rock junior rider but never got the chance to experience the tour in person. When the riders peddled through her community, she was at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver undergoing cancer treatment.
“I had Burkitt’s leukemia cancer,” says Lily. “It’s a very rare cancer, it’s in the blood and the tumours are in the stomach.”
Meredith says her daughter was very sad that she couldn’t be a part of the tour, but her rider – CTV Vancouver Island’s Scott Cunningham did his best to keep them up to date.
“It was really cool because he was sending us videos back and forth along their leg of the journey,” says Meredith. “We still got to be a part of it, but from the hospital bed.”
On Wednesday, a scaled-down version of the tour made a special stop at the Lechinana household to give Lily the experience she missed out on last year.
“It definitely was important for us to come here today,” said Tiffany McFadyen, of the Canadian Cancer Society. “Just to show the tour colours and to say thank you for everything she’s done for us.”
What she did for them is raise a lot of money through donations, collecting cans and a massive bottle drive.
They raised more than $18,000 in total.
Lily and her family have decided to split the profits up, with $10,000 going to the Canadian Cancer Society and the remaining to Island Kids Cancer Association. That organization provides support to island families with children who are going through cancer treatment.
“She’s got the biggest heart,” said Tania Downey, of Island Kids Cancer Association. “She’s full of compassion and she certainly thinks of everybody else before herself … That comes all the way down the line. Her mom is the same way.”
After a quick visit, the riders headed out to the West Shore, leaving Lily to reflect on what had just happened.
“That was amazing,” said the grateful cancer survivor. “It was very warm, generous and I was really happy.”