Cancer survivors cycle across Canada

Cancer survivors cycle across Canada

In May, a family of cyclists stopped in Lloydminster to visit family and friends as they made their way from coast to coast. The story is available after the jump.

Instead of packing up the family van and hitting the road on the time-honoured family road trip, the Wormans have decided to take things slow. Very slow.

Over the course of the next four months, Shane and Lisa Worman, their sons, Eric and Joel, and Lisa’s parents, Brad and Louise Fife, will ride two tandem bicycles and two regular bicycles from sea to shining sea.  The family dipped their tires in the Pacific Ocean on May 4 before embarking on the 7,500 km journey from coast to coast.

On Tuesday, the family, adorned with neon green safety vests could be seen pedaling down the Yellowhead Highway through Lloydminster, Shane’s hometown.

Family members anxiously awaited the arrival of the tandem troupe who had been delayed by strong headwinds across the prairies.

Of the cyclists, three have been affected directly by cancer. Lisa, 41, and Louise, 75, survived breast cancer, while Shane, 43, overcame testicular cancer. Lisa celebrated her  fifth year of being cancer free in 2012, and Shane will celebrate a decade without cancer next year.

While the ride shares a route similar to that of the legendary Terry Fox, the Wormans aren’t directly raising money.

“It’s really just a holiday for us,” said Shane. “If it happens to inspire people, we have a link to the Terry Fox website, and we’re big supporters of the Terry Fox Foundation and the work they do for cancer research.”

Shane and Lisa are the co-ordinators of the Terry Fox Run in Kelowna, British Columbia, where they now live with their two sons, Eric, 12, and Joel, 10.

“We very strongly support the Terry Fox Run because they are so fiscally responsible,” said Lisa.

“We’re grateful for what Terry’s done for saving our lives,” said Shane.

This isn’t the Wormans’ first long distance cycling trip. Last year, Shane, Lisa, Eric, and Joel biked along the Southern Spur, a stretch between St. Augustine, Florida and San Diego, California, and before that, the family spent 30 days biking across Germany.

“We’ve done a few trips,” said Shane. “Over the years you sort of perfect what you’re going to take. You’re in the same clothes every day.”

“We’ve packed lighter each trip,” said Lisa.

Cycling long distance requires a lot of extra considerations, and the cyclists must plan accordingly.

Shane said some days they still have the energy to keep going, but the distance to the next town with appropriate services could be up to 50 kilometers a day.

“You have to  figure out where you can go, town to town, because you can’t carry very much on a bike,” said Shane.

Surprisingly, the prairies so far have been a challenge to the cyclists, the rolling hills and strong winds have made travelling a little more challenging than expected for the team.

The Wormans must also account for two children and two septugenarians.

“It would be challenging to do this without the kids. I can’t imagine having this experience and not sharing it as a family. And I think it’s absolutely amazing that my parents are able to be with us.  at they want to be doing this,” said Lisa.

How the family committed to spending four months on the road is no mystery.

“We just made it a priority,” said Shane. “I have my own business and am fortunate that I have good people working for me.”

Shane owns the Kelowna-based real-estate development firm, Worman Homes and Worman Commercial.

“It’s a sacrifice,” said Shane. “We’ll probably lose some business over it and we may have a few upset clients over it, but my kids are young and are only going to want to do this with me for so long.”

The family aims to reach the nation’s capital in time for Canada Day and then onward to St. John’s,Newfoundlandd, by the end of August, in time for the children to return to school.

Eric, the eldest son of Shane and Lisa, said it was nice to ride as “three generations” across the country. Joel, the youngest, said while it was nice to start his summer vacation a little early, the challenge of riding more than made up for it.

Each member of the family maintains their road journal at http://slejadventures.blogspot.ca.

For information about the Terry Fox foundation visit http://www.terryfox.org.