The Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride returns to the Comox Valley on Sunday August 20.
The bike ride is a fundraiser for YANA and provides a fun, challenging and unique ride through the beautiful Comox Valley. There are routes for cyclists of all ages and ability, choose from a 6km, 25km, 50km or 100km ride.
“We are stepping it up this year and doing the 25km ride,” shares Adam Duncan “in the past, we’ve done the 6km ride, which was easy and laid back for our family. Our kids are getting older and wanted to do the longer ride. We also have friends that are riding the 25km, so we’ll all just ride together.”
All participants will receive a congratulatory medal, discounts at Simon’s Cycles and enjoy a post-ride lunch with music from Jilli Martini. Thanks to the generous support of lead sponsor Dr. Andreas Conradi, cyclists registered before July 21st will receive a free Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride t-shirt.
Duncan says, “The ride is a lot of fun for our kids. They get a race number and their own t-shirt, which they really like. The lunch is great and the atmosphere at the park, pre-and post-ride, is always fun. We ride because YANA is a great organization that helps families during their most vulnerable moments. Without YANA, the Comox Valley wouldn’t be the place it is to live.”
This year Air Canada is encouraging participants to fundraise in a big way. For every $100 raised in pledges riders are entered to win two return tickets for travel to any Air Canada scheduled destination in North America, a prize valued at $2,800.
Over 150 volunteers and a peleton of sponsors provide their support to cover event expenses, which ensures that all money raised goes directly to local families.
Of course none of it would be possible without Simon’s Cycles. Co-owner Patti Fletcher shares her motivation, “All of us at Simon’s think it’s wonderful that by encouraging people to ride their bikes we are able to support Comox Valley families when they need it the most. This ride raises thousands of dollars for YANA each year, money that goes directly to local families, what could be better than that?”
YANA is a registered charity available to Comox Valley families who need to travel for the medical care of a child under 19 or a pregnant mother. YANA offers accommodation and provides funding to help with expenses while families are away from home.
Sandra Williams founded YANA in 1986 after suffering the emotional and financial devastation which resulted from her daughter’s diagnosis of congenital heart failure and lengthy medical treatment in Vancouver. Williams and her family committed to building an organization that ensured Comox Valley families would have the support of their community during such stressful circumstances. YANA is proud to be the steward of Williams’ legacy and assists with over 400 medical trips each year, supporting hundreds of children and families.
“The Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride is all about the love of riding, the love of community and bringing that together. If you want to have fun and also do something active and good for your community join us on August 20,” explains YANA’s Executive Director, Marcie Dumais.
For more information or to register for the Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride, visit yanacomoxvalley.com.
There are so many reasons to register early:
- Complimentary souvenir t-shirt courtesy of top sponsor, Dr. Andreas Conradi. Register before July 21.
- Invitation to participate in fun pre-event activities including a bike mechanics workshop on June 22, bike security registration session on June 24 and a training ride on July 15.
- Early registration ensures you have the opportunity to participate. The ride registration site will be open until August 18 or until such time as 600 cyclists have registered. No registration will be accepted on ride day.
- Time to fundraise so that you can be entered into the draw to win two return tickets for travel to any Air Canada scheduled destination in North America including Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean and select sun destinations, a prized valued at $2,800. For each $100 raised, riders are entered to win!
- The satisfaction of ticking it off your to-do list! Good for your health, good for the community!
For more information about all of these opportunities or to register, click here.
Spring is here, it’s time to dust off your bike and get back on it! Register early and receive a free souvenir shirt courtesy of Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride sponsor, Dr. Conradi. Join us!
On August 7, 2008, Arlene Juby received a phone call from her daughter asking her to come immediately to the hospital in Victoria. Her daughter and her granddaughter were travelling back from a trip to the mainland, via Victoria, and though Arlene did not know why she was needed so urgently, she sensed the seriousness of the situation instantly.
That same evening Arlene’s granddaughter, Ruby, was air-lifted to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver with a diagnosis of leukemia.
“She was six years, two months, and two weeks old,” Arlene recalls, remembering feeling numb. That night she wrote in a journal, something she hadn’t done before. “This is something that happens to other people, not us,” she composed, “but it has happened.”
There would be many more nights for Ruby, for Arlene, and for their family. Almost a year at Children’s Hospital and a stem cell transplant would follow.
“YANA played a significant role during that time,” says Arlene. “The YANA apartment on Oak Street had everything that was needed and the financial part was a big help. YANA kept our family together.”
After returning to the Comox Valley, Ruby continued with regular check-ups at Children’s Hospital, first every two weeks and then every few months. In November 2012, after a routine blood test, Ruby was re-admitted to Children’s, the leukemia had returned.
“She was ten years, five months, and twenty-nine days old,” says Arlene. “And we were back at square one,” explains Arlene. “Again, YANA was there. I don’t think there is anything like YANA anywhere else, it seemed sent from heaven that it was available to us, it meant everything.”
Shortly after Ruby finished her second phase of long-term treatment, Arlene made a significant donation to YANA. “I had decided that when I could help, I would. YANA was at the top of my list.”
Since then Arlene has been a monthly donor, supporting YANA through Canada Helps, an on-line giving platform for non-profits.
“Arlene’s story reminds us of the close connection many of our donors have to the children and families we support,” says YANA Executive Director, Marcie Dumais. “We are grateful to be part of this circle of giving that ensures we are able to help when it’s needed.”
Arlene shares with relief that her granddaughter is a healthy teenager. “I can’t adequately express what YANA means to me, even after so much time has passed. It will be with me until the day I’m gone.”
To donate click here.
~ Originally published April 27, 2017 in the Comox Valley Record
From the outside, it’s just a white, sealed envelope with YANA’s address stamped on the top left.
If you have ever received one from St. Joseph’s staff or given one to a patient, you know that inside these envelopes offer support when it is most needed and represent something very unique and special about the Comox Valley.
“The relief that parents feel when I hand over a YANA emergency funding envelope is palpable,” explains Kelly Phillips, Clinical Coordinator of the Maternal Child Unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital. “The enclosed cash and letter provide reassurance for parents in time of incredible stress and uncertainty.”
YANA’s emergency funding is offered to Comox Valley families when a child or pregnant mother needs to be transferred directly from St. Joseph’s Hospital to a medical facility outside the region. The program is administered by frontline hospital staff. More often than not, emergency transfers are unexpected and cause a great deal of fear and anxiety for families concerned for their loved ones.
“Parents are scared, being able to offer them something to show them that they are not alone means a lot,” says Phillips.
Marcie Dumais, Executive Director at YANA, remembers a mother telling her that she climbed into the helicopter wearing a robe and slippers, completely shocked about what was ahead but determined to stay right at her child’s side.
“It is important that we offer some cash as a small cushion to get families through the immediate situation and that we encourage them to connect with us for further funding and accommodation,” says Dumais. “Many of these emergencies result in long periods of time away from home so the invitation to connect ensures families have the support they need.”
Last year, YANA assisted with 46 emergency transfers involving children. The YANA Board of Directors recently doubled the cash gift, a decision that was possible because of tremendous community support.
“The Comox Valley cares about its people. Our emergency funding program is an excellent example of our compassion for one another. We feel privileged to connect families with their loving community,” says Dumais.
To donate click here.
~ Originally published April 20, 2017 in the Comox Valley Record