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Ride for the Kids

Posted on 01/10/2009 12:00am

By Charla Huber - Goldstream News Gazette Published: October 01, 2009

As the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock rolled through the West Shore, a strong little girl waited patiently in front of her school.

Jessica Liggatt, an eight year old Grade 3 student at Crystal View elementary in Langford, recently won her fight against cancer.

"I am all done and my tumour is gone. The doctors told me I am all better," Liggatt said pointing at her head. "Being sick is not fun."

"(Jessica) is back with us now and we are so happy about that," said principal Bonnie Stacy. "Jessica's fight affected all of us. She's a very brave little girl."

Instead of enjoying time at school last year, Liggatt fought hard against cancer at B.C. Children's Hospital. It was little things that helped her get though her battle.

"People gave me stuff and were nice to me," she said.

It's for kids like Liggatt that Tour de Rock riders pedal the length of Vancouver Island and more - a 1,000-kilometre journey.

"We have had hard rides, sometimes taking 20 or 30 minutes to ride up a hill, but that is nothing compared to kids who fight cancer for years," said tour rider Const. Debbie Wyatt of the Victoria police.

Money raised on the tour goes toward cancer research and to send kids to Camp Goodtimes. As of Wednesday, this year's ride has raised more than $500,000.

"For every cent you've donated please know it's for a tremendous cause," said tour rider Sgt. Lamont French, from CFB Esquimalt military police.

While Liggatt has never attended Camp Goodtimes, she said it is one place she would like to go. Being tumor-free now gives Liggatt time to do other things. "I like to play with my friends and toys and teddies and Barbies and stuff," Liggatt said.

This year Crystal View school raised about $2,800 in three days for Cops for Cancer. The tour stopped at three schools on the West Shore.

"It's marvellous to see these guys raise so much money in such a short amount of time," said West Shore RCMP Const. Ross Wallace, a Tour de Rock rider from 2005. "There are an awful lot of people going through a lot of unfortunate situations. We'd like to make cancer history so my kid can learn about it in a history book someday."

The Tour de Rock wraps up Oct. 2, 3:30 p.m., at the Bay Centre in downtown Victoria