NANAIMO — This year's newly named Tour de Rock team includes a pair of Nanaimo riders who are no strangers to cancer.
Nanaimo RCMP Cst. Shane Coubrough and auxiliary Cst. Trevor Nettleton will represent the harbour city for the annual two-week cycling journey down Vancouver Island in support of pediatric cancer programs and research.
Coubrough's father passed away from cancer two years ago and his young daughter had open-heart surgery at Children's Hospital in Vancouver.
Coubrough said he met many young children at Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver during a nine-month tenure there.
“I just want to give back to the community and the province that helped us out.”
Coubrough, a nine-year RCMP veteran serving the past five years in Nanaimo, has had other family members and close childhood friends impacted by cancer.
“I'm really excited to represent the RCMP," he said.
For Nettleton, like Coubrough, cancer has had a signficant impact on his life.
“I've had two grandparents who have passed away from cancer,” Nettleton told NanaimoNewsNOW. “I've had many friends and family members who have had cancer and thankfully survived.”
Nettleton said he will think of an aunt of his who battled and pulled through from an extremely aggressive form of cancer.
“I not only want to do it for the kids, but also it's a homage and tribute to those I've lost and those who have battled before and thankfully conquered this.”
Well over $20 million has been raised for pediatric cancer programs and research during the previous 20 editions of the grueling 1,200 kilometre cycling tour.
About 30 communities will be visited this year between Sept. 22 and Oct. 5, including stops in Parksville, Nanaimo and Ladysmith.
On twitter: @reporterholmes
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