Did you know that hematology (blood) cancer is on the rise within Canada? That’s a scary thought. From 2014 to 2016, the number of Canadians that are either living with, or are in remission from blood cancer increased by 25%. In fact, in Canada, it’s the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer.
Most blood cancers are not genetic or inherited, but rather are an obtained mutation to the DNA of blood-forming cells. Those cells multiply quicker than healthy cells and are much less likely to naturally die. People who are diagnosed with blood cancer need treatment. Stats show that the number of people who live five or more years after they’ve been diagnosed with most types of cancer has increased over the past 10 years. Unfortunately, most often, people are not expecting to get cancer. It’s not something that you plan for. It’s something that happens and completely changes your world. Cancer treatment often comes with expenses that you’re just not expecting or able to pay for. In some cases, the burden of these expenses are just too much and people may not be able to receive their recommended treatments simply because of the cost.
When we hear about stuff like this, we have a natural desire to want to help, and while the vast majority of us are ill equipped to help with finding the cure for cancers, we still want to be able to do something.
Blood, Sweat & Spin is an event that is looking to raise money for blood cancer initiatives and the Gene Goodreau Patient Assistance Fund. This event is raising money to be able to help blood cancer patients in very real and very tangible ways. Here is everything that you need to know about the event, including how to donate, how to participate, and what exactly this event is.
Information At A Glance
Date: Saturday, March 30, 2019
Time: 8:30am and 1:00pm (these are two different start times)
Location: The Factory, 100 Kellogg Lane
What exactly is it?
Blood, Sweat & Spin is a “Spin-athon”. Basically, people sign up and raise funding to participate in this event. The event takes place with two different sessions on March 30th. The first session starts at 8:30am and the afternoon session starts at 1:00pm. Each session lasts for three hours. Participants will pedal on spin bikes for three 50 minute intervals with 10 minute breaks in between. While participants are encouraged to ride at their own pace, there will cyclist leaders there encouraging the riders!
If the idea of 3 hours of a spin bike sounds daunting, don’t panic! Participants can either sign up as individuals, or they can register in groups of 2 or 3. Groups will be able to split up who is riding each 50 minute interval. So if you sign up as a group of three, you’d only need to ride for 50 minutes.
Since this is a “spin-athon”, riders will have to raise the appropriate amount of funding. Individuals need to raise a minimum of $250 and teams need to raise a minimum of $350, but of course everyone is encouraged to raise as much money as possible.
Their ultimate goal is to raise $25,000 towards blood cancer initiatives, the LRCP Patient Assistance Program and the Gene Goodreau Patient Assistance Fund. Blood, Sweat & Spin is happening on behalf of London Health Sciences Foundation.
What Can Participants Expect?
Participants can expect high-energy. The music will be pumping and the vibes will be all good. There will be cyclist leaders there encouraging you to push your limits and really relish in the “sweat and spin” part of the event name. Plus, there are many helping run this event or even signing up to participate in this event who have been directly affected by Blood Cancer, so spirits will be soaring as everyone comes together to raise this money and fund such an amazing cause.
Anyone participating can also expect to get incredible gear that is Blood, Sweat & Spin branded. That way the reminder to donate towards blood cancer initiatives will continue on even after the event as participants wear their cool gear around town and people ask what it’s all about.
Of course those who are sweating and spinning will need to have their strength replenished. Delicious food and beverages have been donated by sponsors, so all participants can expect delicious eats at the event. In fact, Power House Brewing Co, which is the craft brewery that is actually right in The Factory, will be offering cyclists a delicious beer sample after their ride.
There will also be prizes given out! There will be prizes awarded for the top fundraisers, and there will also be prizes awarded for the absolute best team costumes. While the full list of prizes is being kept a surprise, we’ll tell you about one so that you know what kind of awesome
prizes you can expect. If you’ve got a sweet team costume or you’re one of the top fundraisers, you could be walking away with an incredibly stylish Illbury and Goose toque/slouchy beanie.
An official after party will take place inside The Factory at the Powerhouse Brewing Co Brewery! Not only that, but anyone who participated in the event will receive 15% off their purchases at Powerhouse bar and shop. So participants and volunteers alike can get together after the event and celebrate the incredible accomplishments of the day.
How Can I Participate?
If you’ve read enough and know that you want to participate somehow, then there are four ways that you can do that.
Sweat and Spin
One of the ways that you can participate is signing up to be a cyclist at the event and commit to raising the funds needed to participate. Register here as an individual or as a team. If you don’t have anyone willing to join as a team with you, but the idea of doing all 3 hours on your own sounds way too daunting, you can opt to join a team that has already been started head. Don’t worry about not knowing who your teammates will be, everyone at the event has a common goal and will be friendly and invigorated at the idea of raising money for a great cause. If you want to join another team, head over here, scroll down to the register button, and then click that you want to join a team.
Another way that you can participate is simply by donating! The facts are harsh: treating blood cancer costs twice the amount that it costs to treat any other kind of cancer. It takes longer hospital stays and the treatment is way more complex than with other kinds of cancer. Donating to this event will help them to reach their goal of raising $25,000 for blood cancer initiatives and patient assistance programs. You can donate here. You have the option of a one time only donation or a monthly donation amount. You can donate right up to (and including) the event day, March 30th!
Back a Cyclist
Imagine taking a three hour spin class. What a feat! You would be sweating buckets and really working your body. The cyclists participating in this event are going to be working hard for every dollar they raise. If you can’t participate in the event but want to support someone who is, then you can totally do that! To help an individual or team reach their fundraising goals, you can click here, scroll to the bottom of the page. They’ve listed all of individuals and all of the teams that have registered so far. There are a lot of people signed up to sweat and spin that could use your financial support!
Spread the Word
One of the biggest obstacles for events like these is getting the word out there. People are inclined to give and to want to help when it comes to causes like this, but many people simply just don’t know that events like these exist. So try sharing an article, or talking to your friends about it. Spread the word so that more people have the opportunity to give.
Gene Goodreau Patient Assistance Fund
We live in Canada, which means that many of our healthcare costs are covered by OHIP. While that may be the case, there are a number of expenses that come with cancer treatment that are not covered by OHIP that patients must pay for out of pocket. Those expenses are often unexpected and become too much of a burden to bare. Some of those expenses includemedications, wigs, mastectomy bras, equipment rentals, transportation, Lymphedema supplies, nutritional beverages, accomodations, parking, child care, and so much more. The LRCP Patient Assistance Program seeks to help patients who cannot afford this and might otherwise not be able to receive treatment because of this. Patients that are experiencing financial burden because of their cancer and their treatment can apply for assistance with the LRCP. Similarly, they can also apply for assistance with the Gene Goodreau Patient Assistance Fund. The Gene Goodreau Patient Assistance Fund program was created by Susan Goodreau to honor her husband who died because of cancer and works in a similar way to the LRCP Patient Assistance Program.
Blood cancer is a scary reality for so many Canadians. In fact, every 25 minutes a new Canadian is diagnosed with blood cancer and almost 20 Canadians per day die from blood cancer. Blood cancer isn’t something that you expect to happen. For Jocelyn, a 21 year old woman in her 4th year at UWO, two weeks of a sore throat that she couldn’t shake led to her doctor taking some tests. From those test they found out that she had Acute Myelomonocytic Leukemia. You can learn about her story here. For 29 year old Cristian, the news of his diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphona came as an unbelievable and devastating surprise as he was a young, healthy, and active individual. Cristian will be participating at the Blood Sweat & Spin event. You can hear about his story here.
Blood cancer is something that affects the lives of so many Canadians out there. It’s a scary situation to find yourself in. But we can come together as a community and spread awareness for events like Blood, Sweat & Spin, and we can together raise money for the initiatives and programs that help to change people’s lives and give them a chance to be a story of hope. So spread the word, donate, back a cyclist, or register to sweat and spin the day of. Do what you can to raise money and awareness for this incredible cause.