Pictured (L-R) are Ray Eady, event chair; Leeland and Denise Hill; Jody Archambault, co-chair; Rod McQueen (Leeland’s grandfather).
CORNWALL, Ontario - Riders from Cornwall, Brockville and Orleans banded together for a common cause, on Saturday, as the fifth edition of the annual Bikers Against Brain Cancer Ride, took to the roads.What started out as a grassroots movement to bring some awareness and raise money for brain cancer research, by local chiropractor, Dr. Paul Poirier - who has been fighting his own battle with the disease, for years - has now reached the entire region. Over three hundred riders in all were scheduled to meet in Smith Falls and return together to Guindon Park for lunch. The weather was ideal. Though still a regional effort, the event, this year, it spread its reached all the way to a young family in Nova Scotia. It was just over a year ago, that Denise Hill’s son Leeland, now 4, had started complaining of headaches. After some testing it was discovered that he had a tennis-ball-size tumour on the back of his brain and fluid on the front. This meant his brain was only occupying a third of the space is should be, she explained, and that needed surgery immediately. Happily the surgery was successful and now the spirited preschooler is cancer free. Then, earlier this year, Hill happened upon the Bikers Against Brain Cancer, Facebook page, and wanted to reach out just to say “thank you.” Within no time, thanks to many generous sponsors, plans were made to fly Leeland, his mother and grandfather, in from Dartmouth, to participate in this year’s event. During their stay, the visitors were guests at City Hall, met the acting mayor and police chief, and visited the fire station. “It’s more than you could ever ask,” said the grateful mother, who’d been through more than her share over the past year. “We want to grow this even bigger,” said Ray Eady, event chair. “Our intention is to start an east coast ride in partnership with the Hill (family).” Many thanks to all sponsors and donors who made this possible: Allstate Insurance, Dr. Chris Fullarton, Philos Restaurant, Boston Pizza, NavCentre, Hertz Rent a Car, Travel Underwriters, the Cornwall Police Association and the City of Cornwall, among others. “People are coming out of the wood work to help out,” said Eady. In addition, a spaghetti supper, held at the Legion, last week, netted just over $1000. In all, organizers were hoping to raise $10,000, this year, which will benefit the Montreal Neurological Association’s research efforts. For further information or to donate visit http://www.bikersagainstbraincancer.org.