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Wednesday August 7th, 2013

Posted at 7:50pm

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Five thousand kilometres, five weeks, two extraordinary young men, and one amazing adventure, that is how The Windsor & Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation is describing the success of a recent fundraiser.

Teenage brothers Michele, age 17 and Christian, age 15 D’Agnillo, accompanied by their uncle, Fred Brefka, completed their Vancouver to Windsor bicycle tour raising funds for the Windsor & Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation this past weekend.

They were welcomed home by the Foundation, family and supporters today as they announced the total amount raised was $77,678.

“Cycling from Vancouver to Windsor is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. This wasn’t a vacation or a road trip – every day of riding was a struggle that forced me to re-evaluate the sheltered comfort of normal life. I continued despite fatigue, stress, and disillusionment because I knew that every kilometre contributed to the fight against cancer. The Windsor & Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation is our region’s answer to a disease that affects millions of people, and my brother, Christian and I, are proud to make up a small part of our community’s effort in an issue of universal significance”, expressed Michele.

The trio drove a donated RV out to Vancouver, and cycled an average of 150 kilometres each day back home. They made six stops along the way at Labourers International Union of North America (LiUNA) Local offices, including Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, and Toronto. Each Local made a contribution to the cause, contributing a total of $34,500.

Windsor Local 625 was the presenting sponsor for Pedaling for a Purpose, kick starting the drive with a $13,500 donation.

Pedaling For a Purpose will support two of the Windsor & Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation’s programs: Seeds4Hope and the Patient Assistance Fund.

Seeds4Hope is an annual grant awards program that funds locally-based, new and innovative cancer research in the Windsor and Essex County community. Using the same rigorous process employed by national granting agencies, the applications are peer-reviewed by experts in their respective fields from across Canada and the United States. The research brings scientists and physicians together to find better ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer. Since 2009, the program has provided $1 million in funding to 15 research projects involving 35 local researchers.

The Patient Assistance Fund provides anonymous financial support to cancer patients requiring assistance with items such as rent, travel expenses for treatment, prescription drugs not covered by insurance or other health benefits, dental work as a result of treatment, groceries and more. Since 2009, the Fund has given over $200,000 to over 600 patients.

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