A June 3 charity bicycle ride organized by a Sudbury teen raised $7,383 for the Northern Cancer Foundation.
Sixteen-year-old Lo-Ellen Secondary School student Kalyani Nair said she was inspired to do the ride — which she’s calling Pedaling for a Purpose — after her father, Dr. Satish Kumar, an oncologist at the Northeast Cancer Centre, took part in a similar charity ride in 2021.
Kalyani said she wanted to do more than simply donate to the Northern Cancer Foundation.
“I wanted to do something myself so people my age could get involved,” she said.
Spread by word of mouth among Kalyani’s friends, 15 teens joined the effort, as well as six adults. The teens were tasked with fundraising $250 each. In total, the ride raised more than $7,000. Leaving from the Northeast Cancer Centre, the group set out on a 24-kilometre loop around Ramsey Lake.
Kalyani’s father said he’s pretty proud of his daughter.
“She wanted to do something for charity and that is excellent,” Kumar said. “I would like to see something like this happen every year.”
Kristofer Cacciotti, the community engagement and events specialist for the Northern Cancer Foundation, said when people like Kalyani take it upon themselves to organize events to benefit the Northeast Cancer Centre, it means a lot to the people who rely on the centre in their hour of need.
“It really means a lot to us, and not just philanthropically — it makes a serious difference for the people receiving care,” he said. “That (this event) is student-led is so awesome. It’s really cool to see younger people taking on this role.”
The Northern Cancer Foundation is the fundraising arm that raises money to support the work of the Jim and Shirley Fielding Northeast Cancer Centre, one of 14 regional cancer programs in Ontario, serving a population of more than 600,000 people in the northeast.
The centre provides treatment and services to 3,000 new cancer patients each year, and conducts some 17,000 chemotherapy visits and 38,000 radiation therapy visits, “saving Northern Ontario residents afflicted with cancer and their families the cost and inconvenience of traveling to Southern Ontario for treatment,” states the centre’s website.