What some kids will do for a new bike!

Matthew Feric was a student at Dalhousie University, and with spring approaching, he really wanted to have a bicycle to move around the city of Halifax as he attended classes and other activities.  He talked to his dad about it, but dad felt the timing wasn’t ideal.  He was thinking of logistics like “If Matthew bought the bike in Halifax, how would he get it home for the summer?”

Matthew proposed a challenge for father and son. “If I ride the bike home from Halifax, would you pay for it?”  Mom and dad thought about the challenge and proposed another element.  Turn your ride home into a fundraiser—raise some money for a good cause—and you’ve got a deal.

Somewhere along the way, Matthew’s brother, Patrick, got caught up in the challenge as well.  He thought that cycling from Halifax to Oakville with his brother would be a cool adventure.  There are four brothers in the Feric family altogether, and they are an active bunch playing a lot of hockey and other sports.

Deciding on the ‘good cause’ for the funds raised wasn’t a challenge at all.  Matthew and Patrick’s father, Michael, had recently been treated at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre for cancer in his tonsils.  Their grandfather had also been a cancer patient at the centre.  So cancer research at The Princess Margaret was going to be their cause.

The brothers rode from Halifax to Oakville through New Brunswick, Maine, Quebec and Ontario in May 2014—about 2,000 kilometers—in 20 days, and raised $14,000 for cancer research.  Family members had a wonderful and warm homecoming for their arrival.

The day that Matthew and Patrick came in to the Foundation offices to present their donation was the two-year anniversary of the completion of their dad’s cancer treatment.  It was a proud and happy moment for the entire family. 

The Feric brothers are great examples of the reality that cancer doesn’t just impact the patient.  It’s a disease that still comes with a great deal of fear and uncertainty, and it affects the entire family.  Matthew and Patrick were very aware of the life-saving treatment that their dad and grandfather received at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and they knew right away what they would raise money for.  They are proud that they are contributing to the effort to conquer cancer in our lifetime.