An Aldergrove youngster who lost his battle with cancer four years ago was remembered in a poignant ceremony at Shortreed Elementary School on Sept. 22.
Christopher Sperger was a former Junior Team member of the Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley, which raises money for pediatric cancer research and support every September.
This year’s team is made up of 21 members of local law enforcement who ride bicycles 800 kilometres from Tsawwassen to Boston Bar for the Canadian Cancer Society cause.
The team stopped at six Langley schools that day, but the stop at Shortreed paid special homage to young Sperger with a “beads of hope” ceremony in which Sperger’s mother and older brother, Teresa and Kyle, decorated the team members with a set of beads in memory of the beloved Christopher.
The local riders, including team co-captain Steve Dickinson of B.C. Corrections Service, remembered the always hopeful and cheerful Christopher fondly.
The team promoted the message of healthy living during their visits with schoolchildren, focussing on the five basic tips: don’t smoke, eat your fruits and veggies, be active, wear hats and sunglasses outdoors and use sunscreen.
The Cops for Cancer campaign, which also includes Langley RCMP constables Robert Tumbas and Pamela Morrison, has made a difference in the lives of children with cancer and their families.
This year’s local Junior Team members include Brandon Radnai, Faith Girvan, Lucas Sampson, Mason Furdal, Emily Eckert, Roohy Thandi, Joshua Ismirnioglou, Sidney Neufeld and Malcolm McQueen.
Cancer is a leading cause of death among children, second only to injury. An average of 130 cases are diagnosed each year in B.C. and the Yukon, and of these 24 will die.
Their fundraising enables the society to invest in cancer research, deliver information and provide support services, such as Camp Goodtimes in Maple Ridge. Donations also provide financial aid for travel, accommodation and cancer drugs.
Cops for Cancer is the largest contributor to pediatric cancer research. Their four tours in B.C. (Valley, Coast, North and Rock) last year raised over $2.4 million.
Further information on the team is on the website: www.copsforcancerbc.ca