Kelowna woman involved in Tour de Cure fundraising

Cancer can't keep her down

Chelsea Strauss was months away from her wedding day when she found out she had cancer.

Now, her uncle Brad Gilbert will be riding in the Tour de Cure to help fundraise and bring awareness to the important work of the BC Cancer Foundation.

“All the donations, all the volunteering, the awareness, it’s all super important and I’m going to be a part of it, honestly for years to come now. This is going to be very close to my heart forever, so honestly, I’m speechless," said Strauss in an interview.

"I don’t really have a ton of words because I’m so grateful. I’m just excited to be a part of it and to keep bringing awareness and keep raising money and keep doing whatever we have to do to keep the research for BC Cancer funded."

Gilbert, who's daughter is a cancer survivor, has been riding for nearly 10 years to show his support for people battling the disease, so he knows just how important bringing awareness to cancer research really is.

"It means that we can help her and bolster her and give her hope that she’s not alone. But also others, and that they have the opportunity to benefit from the fundraising that we provide today … and within that, others will hopefully have a better diagnosis and a better treatment prognosis and a life to go forward with hope,” said Gilbert.

Despite going through chemotherapy, Chelsea was granted a six-hour leave from the hospital so she could marry her best friend. She says it was a perfect day that she wouldn’t change for anything.

“While I was gone, all the nurses had decorated my private room with 'just married' signs and they sprinkled flower petals on the bed and on the floor and a bouquet of flowers, it was really special of them … They pulled a stretcher in for Jordan so he could sleep next to me that night. It was a big moral booster."

"Pretty much since I got diagnosed, the wedding day was this shining beacon of excitement that was the one positive thing each day that I was looking forward to,” smiled Strauss.

Team Cure Chelsea has already raised over $16,000 through networking in their community, which according to Lindsay Carswell of the BC Cancer Foundation, is a big part of the fundraiser.

“Most of the fundraising comes through the participants who reach out to their networks to solicit donations, and it’s a very busy period right now with a great deal of momentum there,” said Carswell.

To learn more about how you can donate, you can visit TourDeCure.ca ahead of the three-course bike ride on Saturday Aug. 27 in Fraser Valley.

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