| Aug 03, 2006


Feature Article - August 3, 2006

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Feature Article - August 3, 2006

Leg amputee cyclist on a Cross-Canada ride for cancer throughSharbot Lake

byChava Field-Green

It’s a great summer for marathon feats.

Last week we reported on our local hero, Jenna Lambert’s record breaking swim across Lake Ontario .

This week there is news that a one-legged cyclist and cancer survivor David Visschedyk will be passing through the area and staying overnight in Sharbot Lake on August 14, as part of his Canada-wide Cycle for Cancer.

Visschedyk, a 27-year-old lawyer from Toronto was looking for a way to give back to Sick Kids hospital that helped him fight the Osteogenic Sarcoma that claimed his leg at age nine. Interestingly enough the same disease claimed another famous right leg, that of Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox.

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Both the 25th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope, and Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour de France titles, inspired David Visschedyk to make his trek across Canada . Funds raised by his cycle will go to two charities helping children with cancer, Camp Oochigeas and the James Fund for Neuroblastoma Research at the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto .

Both charities have special meaning to Visschedyk. As a child he attended Camp Oochigeas for kids with cancer, and it was there that he met James Birrel, a boy with Neuroblastoma. James’s family set up the James Fund for Neuroblastoma to help their son with the cancer. Unfortunately James died at age eight, but the fund keeps growing, helping other children with the disease. The James Fund works out of Sick Kids Hospital .

It was at Sick Kids hospital that the Van Ness procedure was performed on David Visschedyk, saving his life by amputating his leg.

The Cross Canada ride started on July 1st with a ride from Vancouver to Mission BC . Visschedyk has been cycling since then, taking in our country’s vast and varied geography, including the treacherous Rockies . Based on the journals he has posted on the cyclingforcancer.ca website, it’s hard to tell that this trip is anything but a wonderful experience. David’s attitude is very positive and empowering.

On Day 45, Monday August 14th, the lone cyclist and his RV will be traveling from Peterborough to Sharbot Lake . Everyone is invited to greet David at 3pm at the Sharbot Lake Beach , where Mayor Bill MacDonald will welcome him to our community. As well, cyclists are encouraged to meet Visschedyk in the parking lot of the former Sharbot Lake Retail Centre on Highways 7 and 38 at about 2pm to bring him into the village and show our appreciation of his efforts. For more information contact the Frontenac News at 613-279-3150, or check the Canada Wide for Cancer website at www.cyclingforcancer.ca.

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