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Jun 1, 2011

Ride Across Belize raises funds for Cancer Center and BERT

The eighth annual Ride Across Belize organized by the Social Security Board entered the city this morning. A record breaking number of riders traversed the country, from Corozal to Punta Gorda, and concluded this part of the  tour just after noon.  This year the ride was dedicated to promoting awareness of cancer; it was a poignant moment for many of the participants, who relived the pain of losing loved ones to the terminal disease.  News Five’s Jose Sanchez caught this leg of the expedition, which according to organizers, was also one that was financially rewarding.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Riders who participated in the Social Security Board’s Annual Ride Across Belize did not only do it for the love of the sport, they took time off from work to promote knowledge of cancer, the disease that has affected their loved ones.

Haydon Brown

Dave Pascascio, Participant, Ride Across Belize

“Personally for me it means it is emotional going through it because I buried my grandmother in December for cancer and one week after, I buried a cousin for the same reason. So it’s dual—it’s riding for a great company, riding for a great cause.”

Dave Pascascio

Haydon Brown, Participant, Ride Across Belize

“Certainly I finished the last leg. I did three different sets of about an average of fifteen miles.”

Jose Sanchez

“I know a lot of people have relatives who are cancer survivors. Did this ride have any personal attachment for you?”

Haydon Brown

“Certainly, my eldest sister—somebody who in Creole words—raise me from a babe, died from cancer. So certainly this was dedicated to her.”

Jose Sanchez

“So you have an entire team from water services?”

Haydon Brown

“Definitely. Full team.”

Karen Rosito

Karen Rosito, Participant, Ride Across Belize

“My sister not lost, but she survived. It’s five years that she’s been cancer free, but not only that as the wellness coordinator at Belize Telemedia Limited, we figured since we are into wellness and health, we went to DigiCell and we were fully sponsored by DigiCell. This morning almost sixty of us showed up and rode for a good cause. What it means for me, she wasn’t as fit as she was when she got cancer—she would not have survived because of the level of physical fitness and she used to ride and walk and run. So it’s all for her.”

Leticia Westby

Leticia Westby, Participant, Ride Across Belize

“Basically to help in the fundraising and awareness in terms of staying healthy. Living, riding basically keep you healthy. Right now there are too many diseases that are basically affecting Belizeans and by doing some type of exercise and riding is my passion. So that is what I’m all about.”

According to the organizers of the event, this year, like 2010, donations broke another record and the funds go to two institutions, including a cancer treatment facility.

Chandra Cansino

Chandra Cansino, Organizer, Ride Across Belize

“Basically we’ve been doing it every year for eight years for different charities and this year we did it for the Cancer Center in Dangriga and the Belize Emergency Response Team. And this has been the biggest year so far.”

Jose Sanchez

“How ahs the response been for the people you are supporting in Dangriga?”

Chandra Cansino

“The center is a very small group of people that do a lot of work—it’s basically about four or five people that work at the center. And they have given us as much support as they possibly can but the support that we have gotten and we are very pleased about is the support from the corporate citizens from Belize and even the employers. Even the schools have given, have contributed and I think it is because of the cause this year.”

Dr. Ramon Figueroa

Ramon Figueroa

“Up to yesterday, we had about sixty-seven thousand dollars already collected or committed and it’s been one of our best years to date which is surprising. I really thought that this year would have been a lot more difficult. But we have had the involvement and the commitment this year of B.N.E., the Belize Natural Energy and Dr. Canton himself committed fifteen thousand dollars to the cause which has helped us significantly as well as Belize Telemedia who gave us about five thousand dollars. And there is also a whole series of other donors. I could mention; BECOL, Central Bank. A lot of other organizations came up very big this year.”

Jose Sanchez

“I know when it comes to cancer; there is always a need for more money. However, how important is the awareness of this disease? How uis it affecting this society?”

Dr. Ramon Figueroa

“Well, for a lot of people who go through cancer, it’s a big challenge. One, it’s the whole stigma of cancer and all the related perceptions about cancer. But also there is the financial challenge because cancer is really a lot of times very expensive—a lot of things you can get here, but most of the treatment you need to go abroad and get. With our investment, our involvement this year and the Cancer Center and its work in Dangriga, they are going to build a pediatric treatment unit that will go a long way in terms of making a service available here in the country and children not having to travel all the way to Merida or Guatemala to get what they will be able to get here now.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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4 Responses for “Ride Across Belize raises funds for Cancer Center and BERT”

  1. Dissapointed says:

    So DISSAPOINTED this year come on guys …you say it’s not a race it’s just a ride for fun and for worthy causes but mein we are not proffessional riders and at the pace you guys ride we barely can keep up.My nephew ( 16 yrs old) had so much hopes to ride this year being his second year riding to reach till Belize but by the time he reached Orange Walk he was so tired . You guys riding too fast mein Pls stop this cause we have to encourage the younger generation to help with causes like these but they do it for the love of the sport and the cause . So pls ride not race next time . Thanks

  2. Cancer Victim says:

    please no more money to cancer awareness, we all know it exists. we need treatment, I cannot afford to go to Merida every 3 weeks.

  3. Jose says:

    ………

    This is a very good initiative and I applaud the SSB for their work on that.

  4. Amateur Rider says:

    I am in total agreement with “Disappointed”. I am not trying to discredit the SSB and the organizers of the ride as it is a great cause but it was stated several times that it was NOT a ‘race’ but a ‘ride’. I participated in the 1st leg of the SS Ride Across Bze and I was very excited to join not only for the cause but to accomplish the diatance for the cause. Instead the excitement that I had quickly changed to frustration. There were non-amateur riders who selfishly set the pace of the ride without being considerate of the amateurs riding for the cause. I’m proud that I made it but I had a very hard time keeping up. The pace should have never been so intense. However, where were the organizers who mentioned numerous times that it was ONLY a ride? How can you allow others to take control of the ride?

    Nevertheless, I’d like to give a big thank you to the professional rider Quinton Hamilton who instead of ‘showing-off’ used his initiative to assist the amateurs by refilling their bottles and giving words of hope. Lastly, I’d like to commend the BTL riders as they portrayed great team work.

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