Earlier this month, Red Deerian Stephen Trangen led a group of more than 100 longboarders through Red Deer for a most worthy cause.
Covering a 25 km route throughout Red Deer’s trail system, the third annual Cancer Cruise, to benefit breast cancer research, was held June 19. The event attracted boarders from across Alberta.
“It went very well,” said Trangen, adding that the group of 126 managed to raise about $13,000.
Trangen, 26, launched the first Cancer Cruise after his grandfather died of lung cancer.
With just 20 other people, he raised nearly $2,000. Quite the feat, considering he put the event together in only a month. The second ride in 2008 raised almost $9,000.
There wasn’t a ride last year, but this year’s success has proven that there are many who would like to support the cause every year. This year, his aim was to raise money to benefit breast cancer research.
Prior to his grandfather’s battle with cancer, Trangen had long-boarded from Edmonton to Calgary to raise funds for breast cancer. So the concept of utilizing a favourite activity for a good cause was already in his mind.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, for women in Alberta, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed type of cancer. In 2010 an estimated 2,100 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Most women who develop breast cancer have no risk factors other than simply being a woman and getting older (especially being over 50).
Other risk factors for breast cancer include having had breast cancer before, a family history of breast cancer, family history of ovarian cancer, an above-average exposure to the hormone estrogen, which your body naturally produces or a history of breast biopsies showing certain breast changes.
Meanwhile, Trangen also wanted to help do away with negative connotations that some people may have of youth who enjoy long-boarding. He said sometimes others on the street or pathways don’t seem to have a very favourable attitude toward those who relish the fun of long-boarding.
“We can do good things,” he adds with a laugh.
Meanwhile, his desire to see the Cancer Cruise increase in scope and impact continues to grow. “This is going to be an annual thing for sure, and it’s going to get bigger.”