Ten years ago, Alfred Tse’s older sister, Sharon, was diagnosed with cancerous non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“It changed her life forever,” Tse said.
He noted how supportive the B.C. Cancer Agency was to her. Tse, now 28, has decided to give back. He’s signed up for the B.C. Cancer Foundation’s first annual Concrete Hero Ultimate Urban Obstacle Challenge, Sept. 29, and so far raised $1,295 that will benefit the B.C. Cancer Agency.
“It was really like a win-win situation in terms of trying to make a goal for myself to try to get into the best shape of my life,” Tse said.
The nine-kilometre Concrete Hero race through downtown Vancouver will incorporate a mix of iconic B.C. landmarks on a timed route. Participants will leap over cars and climb buses in the “Lions Gate traffic jam,” swing over “Lost Lagoon” and scale “The Chief.” The event will culminate with an urban block party downtown.
Tse is participating to honour his sister and also his grandfather, who died of metastasized lung cancer. His passion for preventing and helping to support people with cancer extends to his professional life, as well. Tse, who works as a consultant for SPUD organic grocery delivery, is hoping to create a video contest for young people to raise money for cancer research and support and spread information and knowledge about healthy lifestyle choices for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Tse plays recreational ice hockey, runs and does calisthenics to stay in shape. To train for Concrete Hero he’s been working out twice a day.
He copes with a heart condition and was glad Concrete Hero can accommodate participants of a broad range of ability. “Heroes” can sign up as individuals or teams.
Competitors need to raise a minimum of $400 each. Tse initially aimed to raise $800.
“I had an initial goal of $800 because they said the minimum was $400 so I’m like, OK, let’s go for double,” he said.
His goal has risen with the amount he’s raised. Tse now hopes to raise $1,500.
The B.C. Cancer Foundation is a fundraising partner of the B.C. Cancer Agency and the largest charitable funder of cancer research in the province. The foundation says it enables donors to contribute to research that has a direct impact on improvements to cancer care. Among other things, money raised will support a new study that’s investigating the feasibility of personalized cancer therapy that considers an individual’s DNA and RNA to more accurately prescribe treatment to shrink a tumour, and it will help ensure researchers have the equipment and technology they need to complete cutting-edge studies.
Tse hopes to complete the course in the quickest time possible and he looks forward to seeing his sister’s proud face at the finish line.
In addition to Tse’s fundraising profile on the Concrete Hero website, both he and his sister have been soliciting donations on Facebook.
“My sister’s just been saying great things, that she’s very proud of me,” Tse said.
For more information, see concretehero.ca.
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