Chuck Magnus’ daughter, Kristen, asked her father whether people knew she wasn’t a child.
The question brought a smile to his face.
“I had to stop for a second,” he recalled.
“Kristen, you will always be my kid,” is what he told his daughter, the middle child of three.
Each participant has chosen someone to ride for, but Magnus is riding for two people: Ryder, a little boy from Port Alberni who is battling leukemia and his now 35-year-old daughter Kristen, a cancer survivor.
Magnus is relatively new to cycling, taking up the activity six years ago.
“Watching so many people from a range of ages cross that finish line was powerful for me. I understood that each individual must have set a huge goal for themselves to achieve crossing that finish line,” he said.
The following weekend, he went to a bike shop, and was on his way.
When Kristen was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, a good friend told Magnus about the Ride to Conquer Cancer, so he set out training and preparing for the two-day ride from Vancouver to Seattle.
She beat the cancer and Magnus has continued to do the ride every year. Prior to last year’s ride, Kristen’s cancer returned.
With his daughter following him online from New Brunswick where she now lives, Magnus had an amazing ride.
“I rode with such passion that I finished my time two hours early,” he said.
Following the ride, he travelled back east to visit Kristen, and as fate would have it, came across the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride.
Listening to the riders and hearing their stories, Magnus said the words struck a chord and he knew he had to ride.
So he will do both rides this summer, with the Ride to Conquer Cancer Aug. 26 and 27 and then less than two weeks later, the cross-country trek.
As part of the event, the riders visit 200 communities — including a stop at the Sears at Willowbrook Shopping Centre — and many of the 17 pediatric cancer facilities across the country.
“To complete an exhausting day of riding and then having the incredible honour of visiting a Children’s Hospital and see the faces of those dear children suffering and fighting cancer, will be more than enough to remove any aches and pains I may be feeling,” he said.
Magnus is aiming to raise $100,000 and as of June 14, had raised just over $48,000.
He is also one of two Langley men participating in the ride, alongside south Langley’s Al McNabb.