Cancer fighter rolls out strategy

By Geoff Lee

May 9, 2018 4:26 PM

Kids’ cancer fundraiser Jarrod Russell and his sister Lana Lane sought support from Rotary Club of Lloydminster members on Monday for Russell’s third annual Great Cycle Challenge rides to raise money for the SickKids Foundation. His daily fundraising rides in June will kickoff with the second annual Wings of the Warrior golf tournament Lane is organizing at Rolling Green Fairway on June 3. The goal is to raise $25,000 from both events. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

Lloydminster’s champion fundraiser Jarrod Russell plans to kick kids’ cancer in the butt for the third year in a row with a little help from family and friends.
The 42 year-old childhood brain cancer survivor aims to launch his fundraising rides in the Great Cycle Challenge at his second annual charity Wings of the Warrior golf tournament at Rolling Green Fairway on June 3 organized by his sister Lana Lane.
Russell and Lane were invited to pitch their joint plans at the Rotary Club of Lloydminster on Monday.
“In two years I’ve been doing this I raised $57,000 and said I would do a third year in the Great Cycle Challenge,” said Russell.
“I’m back on the road and I have a donation box on my bike—if anyone wants to put some money in and donate to this cause I’d appreciate it.”
Rotary member Jason Whiting encouraged anyone who sees Russell riding around the city to show him their support.
“Jarrod will be putting on 1,000 kilometres in the city so you will more than likely see him at some point cruising around the streets or trails so give him a honk, give him a wave and if you can, stop off and support his golf tournament,” said Whiting.
Russell will start off his 2018 campaign as the top fundraiser in Canada for the SickKids Foundation the past two years of the cycle challenge.
He plans to retain his top spot by generating at least $25,000 in donations riding daily on his recumbent bike in June and raising funds at the golf tournament.
This year’s tournament is also open to non-golfers who can support a great cause by purchasing dinner, dessert and guest speaker tickets for $45 or dessert and speaker tickets for $25.
“I think it’s always a good thing to change stuff up,” said Lane.
“Last year, we did very well raising about $10,000, but this year we thought let’s open it up to more community members who maybe don’t like to golf.”
She said that means they are offering a dessert buffet that will encourage some community members to come out and enjoy hearing motivational speaker Tom Watson.
“If you are not a golfer come and join us for some fancy coffee and desserts to listen to Tom,” she said.
He happens to be a family friend from Surrey British Columbia, who just like Russell, has battled adversity.
Watson grew up in 13 foster homes and his first wife Kathy died from cancer.
“I think just listening to his story will be very motivating for a lot of people,” said Lane.
Russell says Watson is a great guy who inspires him to help other kids win their battle against cancer with his own fundraising efforts.
Russell was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was just four and is still battling the side-effects of his cancer treatment.
He has epilepsy and partial paralysis on his right side and limited movement of his arm, fingers and legs, but nothing slows downs his commitment to help kids.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re sweating, it’s just for the kids,” he said.
“I went through it and I don’t want them to be alone.”
Russell says he’s excited to get on the road after a long winter.
“It’s nice to be out biking free, nobody bothering me just get out and enjoy the nice weather,” he said.
As for his bike, he told Rotary, “It’s quite a thing; it’s not like a normal bike, it’s a three wheeler and I somewhat like it.”
He records his mileage and routes on a cycle challenge app.
Supporters can donate online by typing in Russell’s name on the greatcyclechallenge.ca website.
His kickoff golf tournament is loaded with hole prizes starting with a grab and go burger lunch and registration from noon to 1 p.m.
Play kicks off with a foursome scramble shotgun start at 1:30 p.m followed by a banquet, silent auction awards and prizes starting at 5 p.m.
The dessert bar and Watson’s talk gets underway at 6:30 p.m.
The major event sponsors include Agland, Rusway Construction Ltd., Sandpiper Truck Services, PWM Steel Services and L & L Oilfield Construction.

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