At the age of 66, Paulette Fowell from Brandon has cycled 1,123 kilometers since August 1. Then she started riding in the Great Cycle Challenge, a fundraiser to raise money for children with cancer through the SickKids Foundation.
So far, Fowell has raised $6,111.46 for charity, and she has one week left before completing the one-month challenge.
It’s Fowell’s second year participating in the fundraiser.
“I did it last year to see if I could do it,” she told The Sun in a phone interview.
Last year, when she turned 65, she wanted to join the challenge, just to see if she could do it.
This year she started training as soon as the snow and ice left Brandon.
“Since then, I’ve been cycling every day, except for one day I missed.”
Her longest journey to date was 106 miles to Pierson. It took her 11 and a half hours to complete it with her husband, Brian, driving the support vehicle.
Fowell retired from a 39-year career as a nurse and spent the last 28 years of her career working in a pediatric ward.
“I’ve taken care of children with cancer and many young people over the years. Some of them really stand out,” she said.
The Great Cycle Challenge began in 2016. It is a national fundraising initiative of SickKids Foundation that runs throughout the month of August. In just five years, the event has grown into one of the largest cycling events in all of Canada.
According to the website greatcyclechallenge.ca/Pages/About/the-cause/about- people of all ages, abilities, and from every province across the country are setting themselves a personal driving goal and challenging themselves to pedal to prevent childhood cancer in August. to fight. the challenge.
In five years, the community of riders from the 13 provinces and territories has ridden a total of 12,580,838 miles, raising a total of $21,612,147 to support research to develop treatments and find a cure for childhood cancer.
More than 1,400 Canadian children are diagnosed with cancer each year.
Fowell said there are 129 cyclists in the Brandon chapter of the challenge.
“I am completely overwhelmed by the people who have sponsored me,” she said. Raising more than $6,000 in 23 days was no small feat, but Fowell managed to surpass her 900-kilometer goal with seven days left in the month.
The downloadable app allows her to clock her miles while tracking her location on a map. You can support Fowell in her challenge by checking out her biography and stats on the Great Cycle Challenge website.