Janice King and Tom Jack, AKA Trucker Tom, are organizing Convoy for a Cure, raising funds for cancer research. – Andrea Nicholl Photo
By Andrea Nicholl
Trucker Tom is loading up and truckin’ for a cause.
Long-time Goat 106.1 caller Trucker Tom, also known as Tom Jack, has coordinated efforts to raise awareness and find a cure for cancer with the highway hitting Convoy for a Cure.
“The convoy of the trucks is the ‘wow’ to raise awareness for what’s going on and what we’re doing,” said Jack, after the Monday morning launch. “We’re raising money for cancer and hope for a cure.”
As of Monday morning, 27 semi trucks had been confirmed though Jack says he’s confident that truckers and the community will pull together to surpass the goal of 50 trucks and $10,000.
“People keep saying this is going to get big,” he said. “It’s just taken off - they think it’s a really great idea.”
Jack and his partner Janice King say planning and preparations began more than a month ago, but they never anticipated such support from businesses, media and truckers alike.
While the convoy will attract the ‘wow’ and attention Jack is looking for, real ground will be covered through donations, pledges, an online auction and ongoing radio auction through 106.1 The Goat.
Jack says Convoy for a Cure is his way of fighting the disease that has taken the lives of friends and family.
“In the last 20 years we’ve lost at least 10 family members to cancer,” he said, adding his sister’s recent battle and brother-in-law’s current fight have encouraged him to take action.
Jack’s brother-in-law has been battling cancer for the past three years – experimenting and testing a variety of trial medications – willing to fight in any possible way. In May of this year, Jack and his family received notice that the medications were ineffective and nothing more could be done.
“They said there was nothing left, so I got mad, pissed off, and my wife said I couldn’t be mad so we came up with this. I’m not mad anymore, this is where I’m putting all of that energy.”
The same morning that the Convoy project was unveiled Jack’s brother-in-law was admitted into hospital to receive a subsequent trial drug that had recently been discovered.
“Find a cure, that would be the ultimate (goal),” said Jack, overwhelmed by emotion. “Cancer doesn’t care if you’re mad, it only worries when you fight back.”
The Convoy for a Cure will depart the Vermilion weigh station on the north side of Highway 16 at 10 a.m. sharp on July 24. The convoy will continue toward Lloydminster and will be police escorted to the Lloyd Ex Grounds, where a toonie fundraising barbecue and truck display will be available to the public.
There is no fee for truckers to participate in the convoy, but those that do pledge will have the chance to help lead the convoy. All participating trucks are asked to meet at the weigh station between 8 and 9 a.m. to be organized.
Convoy for a Cure is endorsed by the Alberta Cancer Foundation and will raise money in support of the Cross Cancer Institute. All of the funds raised will remain in Alberta and will be directed toward patient care, treatment and research.
“Whether it’s $1 or $20 it’s money that they don’t have now, and it’s money they need,” said Jack.
“If you can send your truck that day awesome, if you can send your truck and a donation even better. Either way it helps what we’re trying to do.”
For more information or to make a donation visit www.convoyforacure.webs.com or www.albertacancer.ca. You can also find Convoy for a Cure on Facebook (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For pledges forms, or to register your truck in the Convoy for a Cure, call Trucker Tom at 780-603-0140.