Halifax cancer survivor raises $27K in 25 km benefit race after riding 2,000 km to get there

Gary Jones is pictured competing in the Indy Cycling Challenge in Toronto on July 13, 2017. Courtesy: John Steadman

Just under three weeks ago, Timberlea, N.S. resident Gary Jones set off on his bicycle heading for Toronto to compete in a cycling event at the Honda Indy racetrack, and now he’s been named the “undisputed champ” in fundraising, according to a release by Compass Communications Inc.

Jones pedalled through four provinces in just under two weeks. He used the same bike he used in the Indy Cycling Challenge, a Prostate Cancer Canada benefit, on Thursday.

After cycling in both the 10 kilometre and 25 kilometre categories next to 35 other participants, including Canada’s Sport Hall of Fame inductee Curt Harnett and 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi, he was named the fundraising winner.

READ MORE: Halifax cancer survivor riding 2,000 km to Toronto for 25 km benefit race

In total, Jones raised $27,870 in donations by the end of Thursday, a number that was not only the highest overall but more than all riders combined. As a result, he was awarded the Blue Tie Circle Award, given to a person for excellence in prostate cancer fundraising, and he also won a KindHuman bicycle.

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Gary Jones is shown holding the Blue Tie Circle Award for excellence in prostate cancer fundraising. Courtesy: John Steadman

The 72-year-old told Global News in June that he was pedalling not only for himself — a survivor of prostate cancer — but for friends he also lost to the disease.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, it’s estimated one-in-seven Canadian men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime and one in 29 will die. On average, 58 men will be diagnosed with the type of cancer every day and 11 will die each day.

The trek the two-time cancer survivor — he also battled thyroid cancer — was approximately 2,000 kilometres.

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