All too often for families in B.C., a child’s cancer diagnosis and a financial crisis go hand in hand.
Just ask Cloverdale’s Dave and Suzanne Dunbar.
When their son Quinn was diagnosed with a brain tumour in September 2002, the Dunbars did what most two-parent families in their situation do: Suzanne quit her job to be at her son’s side.
One parent at least one parent usually gives up their job during their child’s illness, says Dave.
As the family’s income dropped, new expenses related to their son’s health battle soared.
They were shocked at what the medical system in B.C. doesn’t cover. At one point, they were paying $600-$700 for Quinn’s liquid food supply – needed just to get him healthy enough for the next grueling round of treatment.
There were other costs, too, and they added up.
The Dunbars count themselves fortunate – they had the support of their friends, family, church and their community. Even so, they ended up $75,000 in debt.
Families without that support fare much worse, says Dave, a director of the B.C. Childhood Cancer Parents Association (BCCCPA), an organization that helps families who are struggling with financial aid.
Both he and Suzanne got involved after realizing how common their story was, and although Quinn passed away in 2008, the couple remains dedicated to the cause.
On Friday Oct. 24, starting at 7 p.m., the Cloverdale Rec Centre will be filled with riders in colourful costumes spinning their buns off at the 2014 Inside Ride.
Teams of six are encouraged to register for the ride, dress up, and have fun as each team member rides for 10 minutes on a stationary bike.
There are prizes for best costumes, most enthusiasm and most kilometres pedaled.
The bikes are supplied by Coast to Coast Against Cancer, an organization that travels across Canada in support of children and families with cancer.
One hundred percent of the proceeds go to the BCCCPA.
“We welcome all kinds of businesses, companies, and fitness centres to come down and raise funds for us,” says Dave.
“It’s a rocking good time – great music, lots of energy, and lots of prizes.”
The fundraising commitment is not a barrier – every penny counts.
“Sign up a team and ask each rider to hit up 10 friends for $20 bucks each, it’s that easy,” he said.