Charitable Choices: Marc Sprack and Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer

Marc Sprack is a superintendent at the Toronto District School Board. He participates in Enbridge® Ride to Conquer Cancer® and this year, has dedicated his time to serve as one of The 2020 Ride’s Vice Chairs. Marc will ride with Team Wayne for two days, 200+ kilometres from Toronto to Niagara Falls in support of The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

Enbridge ride to conquer cancer

Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences.

The Enbridge® Ride to Conquer Cancer® is a two-day, 200+ km Ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls supporting The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Funds raised through The Ride support personalized cancer medicine, research, treatment advances, education and new standards of care at The Princess Margaret so we can conquer cancer in our lifetime.

What problem does it aim to solve?

Everyone I know has been touched by cancer one way or another. Cancer has affected us all. I lost my partner, Wayne, to cancer and according to the Canadian Cancer Statistic in 2017, nearly 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. 80,752 Canadians will die of cancer this year, making it the leading cause of death in Canada.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer® raises vital funds to support The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre for personalized cancer medicine, including research, treatment advances, education and new standards of care so we can finally find a cure and conquer cancer in our lifetime.

When did you start/join it?

Last year was the first year I participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer® . I consider it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my lifetime. As I pedaled along the beautiful countryside, I took the time to reflect on how I had engaged family and friends in raising both funds and awareness for this important event. I was fortunate to have many sponsors, some large and some small, and for that I am very thankful. I also had the good fortune to be joined by friends who had also made the commitment to ride with me to honor Wayne’s beautiful life.

What made you want to get involved?

My partner of twenty-two years, Wayne, passed away from a rare form of sarcoma cancer. Just after Christmas last year, we innocently visited the emergency unit to inquire about what we believed to be acid reflux or indigestion. Within five short and painful weeks, I lost the love of my life and dearest friend.

Cancer took the life of my partner and changed our family forever. Our sweet daughter lost a father, a friend and a hero. He will no longer be with us to celebrate her successes nor support her through her challenges. He will be forever loved and missed. Wayne was a kind and caring soul who helped neighbours regularly, cared for a dear elderly woman who had no family and lived his life respecting his body, his health and his well-being. His passing from cancer has been very painful and has left an aching wound in our hearts and in our lives. I wanted to do something that would be positive. Something that would help me feel hopeful and I wanted to move forward in a positive direction. That’s why I decided to join The Ride and continue to dedicate my time and energy as one of this year’s Vice Chairs.

How has it changed since?

This year, I am riding with Team Wayne and I have dedicated my time to serve as a Vice Chair for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. All my efforts in riding, fundraising and being a Vice Chair are all to support the work done by The Princess Margaret so we can find a cure and conquer cancer in our lifetime.

What more needs to be done?

Great progress has been done but there is still so much left to do. That is why we keep joining The Ride each year, to raise awareness for cancer and The Ride, and raising funds to support the vital research and programs of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

How can our readers help?

While donating and participating are the most common and effective ways to contribute, I recognize that not all people are in the position to share in this way. There are a lot of ways your readers can help.  They can register for the 2020 Ride as an individual or recruit several of your family or friends to form your own team or join an existing team. They can also support friends or people they know by donating to their Ride.

Sharing Rider’s stories and helping Riders fundraise can also be a way to help. I had some friends who reposted my information on their own social media sites last year. This allowed me to access a significantly larger social network. I received generous donations from people I did not even know.  I also received words of encouragement from friends and family who inspired me to persevere in reaching my goal, which was helpful especially in the times I doubted myself. These words cost nothing but were valuable in boosting my morale and helping me remain confident and focused.

Finally, there were hundreds of volunteers who kept me safe on the roads, provided food and drinks, repaired flat tires, and cheered me on from the side of the road. Readers who would want to get involved can sign up as crew volunteers

These are just a few ways your readers can support this important cause.

Do you have any events coming up?

The 2020 Ride to Conquer Cancer® will take place on June 13-14, 2020. Myself, Team Wayne and thousands of Riders who have registered will cycle for two days and 200+ kilometres across the Ontario countryside, from Toronto to Niagara Falls.

For more information, to donate or register for the 2020 Ride, visit the site.

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About Joel Levy 2552 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography