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Cancer has touched so many people that, these days, everyone knows someone who has fought against it. On Saturday, August 26, the 2nd annual Boobs on Bikes event took place to raise money for those battling against the monster that is breast cancer. “This thing is near and dear to a lot of people’s hearts. I have a grandson who’s only got one grandma because he lost the other one to breast cancer before he was even born,” spoke co-organizer Janet Jabush.
The Boobs on Bikes event was created by I Love Alberta Boobs which was founded in 2009 when a group of friends from across Alberta came together to take part in a 60 km walk in Calgary for the weekend to end women’s cancers. The group did very well over four years, raising $100,000, and were understandably devastated when the event was cancelled. I Love Alberta Boobs founder, Brandy Schwenk, decided to take things into her own hands and continue raising money for those fighting breast cancer.
She has held numerous events in Lloydminster where she resides and, last year, branched off into Whitecourt with Janet Jabush. “I knew Brandy rode and I ride, so I phoned her one day and said, boobs on bikes. She said, what? And I said, let’s do a ride and call it Boobs on Bikes!” Brandy was a big fan and the planning began immediately.
“We threw it together in a matter of weeks last year and still managed to have about 20 bikes. We’ve had a little bit more planning this year and we looked for some sponsors as well,” explained Janet. Sponsors include Greg Schwenk’s company G Force Diesel (Lloydminster), Little Buddies Rentals, and AECOM. Every bit of help is a big deal as it goes a long way in helping those who need it most.
This year’s ride was very emotional for Brandy as she recently lost someone very special to her. “Brandy has friends who were touched by breast cancer and one of them lost her battle just last week. This ride is for her. This is for Rebecca,” said Janet. Brandy placed a sign on the windshield of her bike that said, “For Rebecca, Nov 29, 1969 – Aug 23, 2017, my friend.”
In the past, I Love Alberta Boobs has donated money to a Stage One clinical trial at the Cross Cancer Institute, and recently decided to change things up. “The mandate now is to fundraise and support people who are living with breast cancer. If someone needs to go to the city for three days for cancer treatments and takes family with them, it’s expensive.” Funds will be put towards helping patients in both Whitecourt and Lloydminster.
The ride kicked off at 1 p.m. from the Roadhouse Pub & Grill and brought riders from Whitecourt to Edson and back utilizing backroads for much of it which made for beautiful scenery. The complete round trip was roughly 240 kms and the perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon.
“I don’t need much of an excuse to ride nor do most avid motorcycle riders but if you can get out in the wind and have fun on your bike while raising money for a great cause, it doesn’t get any better,” said Janet. After the ride, everyone returned to where they started, at the Roadhouse, for supper together. There were plenty of door prizes and raffles for riders to win as well, as a bonus on an already fantastic day.
There were 15 pre-registrations and several riders added to the fray, joining in at the last minute. This year’s event raised over $2,000 and thanks to the generosity of local riders, women who are battling breast cancer will receive help when it is most imperative that they receive it.