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Tour de Rock team gets 'uplifting' boost from childhood cancer survivors in Nanaimo


The 25th anniversary Tour de Rock team celebrated the 10th day of their two-week ride by pedalling into Nanaimo, B.C., on Monday.

The team arrived in a familiar place in the Harbour City: Aspengrove School, which they've visited for several years now.

This year, the team was gifted a $5,000 cheque raised by students and staff.

"They came by, we cheered them on, it was great," said Grade 12 student Brooklyn Barootes.

"I really think it really helps build a community here between us and them," she said.

The tour continued past north Nanaimo to Chemainus, B.C., hitting up multiple schools and local businesses along the way.

"Our distances are getting shorter but the stops are getting more and more," said Victoria police constable and rider Tristan Williams.

Other riders added that the stops give the team more energy "to get to the next destination."

But what really motivates the team is their honorary riders.

"It's so uplifting to have them with us because it's a reminder of why we are doing this," said Williams.

"When it gets tough we know we are doing it for these kids."

Williams is partnered with an honorary rider named Owen, whose older brother lost his battle with cancer.

Another honorary member, Chloe, is a Grade 6 student at Mountain View Elementary School in Nanaimo.

The Tour de Rock team also made a stop at her school on Monday morning.

"It's great. I know she loves it and it makes her feel pretty important, pretty special," said Chloe's mom, Cora.

"It's a good cause and we are all about it," she said.

Tour de Rock rider Robin Campbell, who's representing Cups for Cancer – a charity in the Comox Valley that uses horses to raise money for Cops for Cancer – has met Chloe before.

The sixth grader isn't Campbell's honorary rider, but the pair met due to Chloe's love for horses.

"Getting to meet another kid who has battled cancer definitely gives me the energy," said Campbell. "I really need that energy right now."

It's energy that will help guide the team as they make their way south towards the Cowichan Valley Tuesday. Top Stories

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