Enbridge Ride: Personal Experience Fuels Passion
At the beginning of each of Enbridge’s four Rides to Conquer Cancer a solemn ceremony is conducted. In a moment of silence to commemorate the friends, family and riders who have died in the past year, riders escort a riderless bicycle to the start line.
Devon Smibert rode in all four of the rides — Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta — in 2012 and he always found that moment particularly poignant.
“It’s similar to our military tradition of setting a place for fallen comrades at the dinner table,” explains Devon, who has spent more than 12 years in the Canadian Forces Army Reserve. “It’s very symbolic and touching.”
Devon chose to participate in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer because cancer has had a big impact on his life. He lost his grandfather to the disease when he was a teenager and his father undergoes frequent treatments for skin cancer.
When Devon’s wife was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, the disease drew even closer to him.
“It was a trying and emotional time,” remembers Devon, manager of Threat Detection and Incident Response at Enbridge. “We lived with a lot of uncertainty and fear.” Because she was diagnosed early, Devon’s wife received timely and effective treatment. “She was on the winning side,” he says with obvious relief.
When Devon found out about Enbridge’s commitment to the Ride to Conquer Cancer taking place in four provinces in 2012, he was inspired to sign up for all four. He wanted to raise awareness about early screening and detection.
“Pre-screening is something that really hits home to me because of my wife, who was fortunate enough to catch her cancer early, thanks to pre-screening,” he says. “If the cancer is detected early enough treatment is less invasive and lives are saved.” Devon adds that many people don’t want to talk about cancer.
“The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer helps make sure the public knows how common cancer is and how they can participate in early detection programs,” he says.
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