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67-year-old Taber woman takes up cycling to help kids with cancer

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A 67-year-old woman in Taber, Alta., says she was inspired to start riding a bike during the pandemic to get in shape and raise money for the Sick Kids Foundation. As Emily Olsen reports, she’s hoping her daily rides will inspire others – Aug 19, 2020

Jody Carrier’s bike may be a little rickety, but she’s determined to keep riding it every day this month.

The 67-year-old Taber woman hadn’t ridden in years, but now she’s raising money for kids with cancer through donations to her Great Cycle Challenge web page.

Read more: COMMENTARY: The pandemic has more people riding bikes — here’s how to keep it that way

“When COVID started lifting, I went out for a bike ride because I felt really unfit and I could only go about three blocks,” Carrier said. “I’d just seen this on the internet, and I thought well I’ll join and it’ll give me a reason to cycle more.”

She’s had support from the Taber community and from her family.

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“They say it’s awesome, Because of my age!” Carrier laughed.

She’s already surpassed her own goals– and she’s not done yet.

“When I started out, I didn’t think I could make $500, but I made that and I’m up to $850 now I put my goal a little higher to $1000,” Carrier said.

After watching friends and family battle cancer, the issue is close to her heart.

“Everybody has the opportunity to help people,” Carrier said. “These kids, I mean, it’s got to be hard on them.”

Carrier says the bike isn’t in great shape– the gearshift and seat won’t adjust anymore– but it still gets her around just fine.
Carrier says the bike isn’t in great shape– the gearshift and seat won’t adjust anymore– but it still gets her around just fine. Global News

Officials from the Sick Kids Foundation say the pandemic has been hard on families dealing with childhood cancer and community support from people like Jody is crucial.

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“It’s just a really fantastic thing to see, and such a positive thing to see,” Nancy Jordan, Associate Director of Special Events for the Sick Kids Foundation, said.

“In a year that has had so many ups and downs for so many people, I think people that are involved in the Great Cycle Challenge just feel that immense sense of community and that they’re doing something important.”

The Great Cycle Challenge runs until the end of August, and officials say more than 65,000 people are registered in Alberta alone.

Read more: Charities struggling to survive amid coronavirus, say federal support needed

Jody hopes to inspire others to donate or participate by raising funds with their own daily rides.

“No matter what you make, it still goes in the pot to help the kids,” Carrier said. “This is a win-win for me. I’m losing weight and getting fit, and I’m making money for kids cancer.”