Jarrod's on the road again

By Geoff Lee

May 4, 2017 12:00 AM

PEDALIN' Jarrod Russell has his recumbent bike tuned up to get in shape for his second annual Great Cycle Challege in June to raise money for the SickKids Foundation. The 41 year-old brain cancer survivor was the top fundraiser in Canada last year. He's organizing a new Wings of the Warrior charity golf tournament on June 4 to raiise even more money and to officially kick off another 30 days of riding in June if the snow that fell last week melts. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

Fundraising superstar helping kids with cancer through golf tourney

Helping kids with cancer has become a life mission for Lloydminster brain cancer survivor, Jarrod Russell.
The 41 year-old was the top fundraiser in Canada for the SickKids Foundation in 2016, raising more than $20,000 in donations in the Great Cycle Challenge in June.
He rode around town on his special recumbent bike every day in June logging more than 678 kilometres on the cycle challenge’s GPS app.
This year, Russell is raising the bar by organizing a Wings of the Warrior charity golf tournament on June 4 at Rolling Green Fairways, to raise even more money and awareness.
The tournament will officially launch his 2017 challenge ride for cancer kids.
“I want to do it for the kids, to raise money for SickKids,” said Russell.
More than 1,400 Canadian kids are diagnosed with cancer every year.
Russell’s oldest sister, Lana Lane, said Russell felt he needed to do more than just ride, and came up with the golf tournament idea.
Together, they came up with the Wings of Warrior name and logo, depicting a gold ribbon with wings to symbolize children fighting cancer.
“Jarrod thinks these kids are warriors, so the warrior was sort of a word that came up right away,” said Lane.
Russell was just four when he was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour.
He underwent more than 30 radiation treatments that paralyzed part of his body, while giving him the   will to help others.
“I think the cause of kids fighting cancer has been dear to him because he was one of those kids who was fighting that battle,” said Lane.
“He feels for these kids; he knows what they are going through and that’s why he supports this cause.”
A committee has been struck with Lane, her sister, Tami Kappel and friend, Tricia Hunter, to help Russell rally golfers, sponsors and donations in time for the event.
“I’ve kind of left it in Jarrod’s hands to get out and talk with people, so he’s been making all the phone calls and doing all the initiating of fundraising,” said Lane.
The committee is in need of hole sponsors, a burger buffet lunch sponsor, silent auction items, and donations for door prizes and awards.
“This will be a nine-hole four-man Texas scramble format with lots of different activities throughout the course, so taking the golf to another level for fun,” said Lane, adding there will be a shotgun start at 1:30 p.m.
Individual and team entry fees include a round of golf, cart use, auctions, prizes, and a steak supper.
For more information on how to register, e-mail organizers at wingsofthewarrior@gmail.com.
Those who play in the Wings of a Warrior tournament, can expect mulligans, golf pong, poker play, driving, putting and closest to the pin holes, and much more.
When contacted last Thursday, Russell had just got his bike tuned by his brother in-law, Kevin Lane who said it was in pretty good shape.
“It should be safe to ride as long as he wears his helmet and watches the rules of the road,” said Lane who adjusted the brakes and lubed it up among minor tweaks.
Russell got it back late last week with snow still on the ground. 
“It’s pretty brutal out now, but I’m just waiting for a good chance to ride,” he said.
This year, Russell plans to ride 1,050 kilometres in June, hoping to raise more money than last year.
The national cycle challenge raised approximately $1.8 million in its first year in support of research to develop treatments and find a cure for cancer.
This year’s goal is $2.5 million with more than 9,000 participants, including Russell registered to ride.
Cycle challenge donations to Russell can be made online now at greatcyclechallenge.ca/Riders/JarrodQRussell.
Russell has been working out with a personal trainer over the winter at the Servus Sports Centre, where he also walks around the track.
“I’m all ready to ride; I just have to wait for the snow to melt,” he said.

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