In less than a week it will be National Purple Day, March 26, the peak of Epilepsy Awareness month. We’ll see people out and about rocking purple to help bring the condition into our conscience.
Archie Sull, a teacher and volunteer fireman, and Rob Gardner, the service manager at Cariboo Ford, however, are going the extra mile, or rather the extra 655km, and that on bikes, to raise some money to fight Epilepsy and to give to the B.C. Children’s Hospital.
They’re biking out of Quesnel and riding to the Children’s Hospital via Whistler over the course of seven days
“We’ve been talking about the ride for a year,” Gardner said.
Gardner did the ride eight years ago and when Sull asked if he was interested in doing it again, he jumped at it.
“I would love to do it with somebody who loves riding as much as I do,” he said.
After deciding to do the trip, the pair started throwing around the idea of bringing in a charity to do fundraising for – which is where a cause very close to Sull’s heart came in.
Sull’s daughter has been diagnosed with epilepsy and the help the Children’s Hospital has offered them has touched him.
“The love and passion the volunteers bring everyday, all the way to the paid staff, gets me emotional every time I think or hear of Children’s,” Sull said.
So the pair called the Children’s hospital to see if they wanted to be a part of their ride.
The Children’s Hospital jumped at the chance and the pair began looking for sponsorship and getting in shape for the big ride.
While the fitness may take a while, the donations have already been coming in, $300-400 coming in within hours of putting up their webpage.
“Through social media it has taken off like a rocket ship,” Gardner said.
Cariboo Ford has also jumped on as a major sponsor, treating the duo with a uniform for the ride, as well as a pilot car to run in front of them.
Though Sull is jumping in blind, having never done this before, Gardner knows what he’s up against. And it’s the mountains on highway 99 that worry him; that and the heat they’ll face in July, when they’re taking the trip.
“When you’re climbing that much in the heat, hydration is key,” he said.
Beside raising money for the hospital, the pair want people to share their stories, either on their Facebook, or by twitter, to raise awareness and spread the love for an institution that has played a major, and majorly positive, part in a lot of British Columbians lives.
Follow their exploits on Facebook at Facebook.com/QuesnelCycle, on their blog at quesnelcycling.wordpress.com/ or on twitter @quesnelcycling.
For donations go to https://secure.bcchf.ca/SuperheroPages/main.cfm?Event=ICE&Member=39201 or drop by Cariboo Ford and ask for Gardner.
You can also follow their preparation and trip here at the Quesnel Observer.