Osoyoos councilors Monday were asked to help peddle a three-day Hwy. 3 bike ride that will benefit Cystic Fibrosis Canada — and received an invitation to do some pedaling as well.
That organization’s Gear UP4CF bicycle ride is scheduled to leave Vancouver on June 23 and arrive in Osoyoos on June 25. The ride is open to all who want to participate.
“Some of the riders have CF so this ride will be a very special celebration,” Sandra Niven, a Funds Development Associate with Cystic Fibrosis Canada, told Council during a presentation Monday morning.
“Cystic Fibrosis is one of the most common fatal genetic diseases affecting Canadian children and young adults today; there is no cure,” she said. “There are more than 4,200 Canadians living with Cystic Fibrosis and it’s estimated that one in every 3,600 children born in Canada has Cystic Fibrosis.”
That includes at least one person living in Osoyoos.
“I was to come here with a mother of a small boy who lives in Osoyoos, but unfortunately he had to go to clinic and they are unable to attend.”
Council was also asked to declare May “Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month.” CF Canada holds its biggest fundraiser in May — a walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History. It is scheduled for May 27 and includes events in Kamloops and Penticton.
“Participants from Osoyoos will be attending those walks or can do a virtual walk (in the Osoyoos community),” Ms. Niven told Council.
The fundraising effort is working. Since its establishment in 1960, CF Canada has invested more than $244 million in leading research, innovation and care.
“In the 1960s, a child with Cystic Fibrosis was not expected to live along enough to go to kindergarten,” Council heard. “Today, 60 percent of Canadians with Cystic Fibrosis are adults. Yet, more than half of them will not live beyond 39 years of age.”
The Gear UP4CF bicycle ride, now in its 13th year, has raised more than $2 million for CF research and support. This will be the first year the ride will end in Osoyoos.
“It’s a natural stopping point for a three-day ride,” Ms. Niven explained, adding that longer rides of five and nine days have occurred in the past.
CF Canada is planning celebration events for the June 25 arrival in Osoyoos. Anyone interested in participating in those events or joining the bike ride can contact Ms. Niven at firstname.lastname@example.org.