MacDougall family honours members by raising money for cancer research
TRURO – Meg MacDougall really didn’t want to get out of her nice, warm bed to go biking through the cold driving rain.
Several members of a Truro family recently cycled about 1,200 km as part of Give To Live’s Big Ride from Banff, Alta., to Boulder, Colo. Chris MacDougall right, Meg MacDougall, Scott Musgrave and Adam Dewar, along with Dan MacDougall, missing, helped raise nearly $100,000 by collecting pledges. Submitted photo
But then the 26-year-old Truro resident remembered why she should, got up and logged about 100 km in the saddle.
“It was difficult to convince yourself every day,” MacDougall said of her recent trek from Banff, Alta., to Boulder, Colo. “I wasn’t expecting it to be easy and it definitely wasn’t easy.”
MacDougall made the trip for Give To Live’s Big Ride in an effort to raise money for cancer research with her uncle and Truro resident Chris, his son Dan and cousin Dewar. Also joining their team were Halifax’s Scott Musgrave and Vancouver’s Adam Duda.
The MacDougalls were riding in memory of Chris’ son Charlie, who lost his battle with cancer in 2005 at just 14, and Chris’ brother Donald, whose life was also taken by the disease in October 2012.
The team was part of an 11-rider group taking part in the event, with each team riding about 1,200 km. The journey carried the riders in and out of the Rocky Mountains through Alberta, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado and raised nearly $100,000 through pledges collected by riders before the event. Those interested can still donate to the cause by contacting Chris at 895-1396 or visit givetolive.ca/big-ride and click the sponsor a rider tab.
Riders paid their own way so each dollar raised went toward research.
“Physically, it was quite an accomplishment. Emotionally, it was nice to get out there,” Chris said, adding that thoughts of his late son and brother were constantly in his head.
As if the emotional toll the journey took on the group wasn’t enough, Mother Nature didn’t make it any easier physically. Although the riders encountered only one day of rain, they were forced to deal with strong headwinds on each day of the 12-day trek.
In spite of the adversity, Chris said it wasn’t hard to find the inspiration to keep going.
“What we were doing paled in comparison to what (Charlie and Donald) were forced to go through,” he said.
Each day the group rode in the memory of a loved one taken by cancer, with two of those days dedicated to Charlie and Donald.
“A couple days were dedicated to a MacDougall family member so it was incredibly special to be riding those days,” Meg said.
With the group’s shortest day on the road measuring 75 km and the longest stretching to 147km, Chris said it quickly became clear how important training before the event was. Luckily, Chris had done plenty of conditioning, having gone through the experience before, taking part in a ride from Vancouver to Austin, Texas, in 2010.
“It helped quite a bit,” he said. “Some people weren’t prepared for the day after day hills and distances, and they paid for it, but we had all ridden quite a bit before and it helped to know what to expect.”
Both Chris and Meg said taking part in another Big Ride is something they would be interested in doing again.
“I would certainly consider it,” Chris said. “It was a good time. It was a challenge but we had a great group of people and we had a lot of laughs.”
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