Since the initial San Francisco to Los Angeles Cancer Awareness Ride in 2006, Fire Velo Cycling Club has paid an honor and a tribute to a select number of individuals who have passed away from cancer. Riders wear on their jerseys the names of the honorees for the year, and along the ride route a custom picture frame with a jersey encased is presented to the family. Typically, on hand for the presentation ceremonies in addition to the riders, are family, friends, coworkers and the agency from the honoree.
Riders will also carry names, pictures and other individuals in support or in memory as a tribute to those close and personal to them! This ride is a reminder of the impacts of cancer and also an opportunity to provide and share cancer education and awareness to our fire service family along the route.
Monies raised from this ride are utilized by such groups as the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation, Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN), Firefighter Cancer Foundation and a number of other wellness and support groups. To date over $400,000 has been donated to various groups dealing with cancer prevention and awareness in the fire service.
There are few people who have not been touched by the effects of cancer in some way. Coping, understanding, and simply dealing with the day to day efforts of battling cancer are often overwhelming, not only for the patient but also for their loved ones. And while many people think the word Firefighter is synonymous with courage or bravery, when it comes to cancer we can be just as lost and devastated as everyone else.