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Champions supporting this year’s Wellspring Ride for Cancer Support: The Atlantic Challenge

A Wellspring Champion is someone who is currently experiencing cancer or has previously experienced cancer. Their lived experience is what motivates and encourages this event’s ride teams. They also help to raise funds and spread the message about Wellspring throughout the ride.

Meet the Champion’s providing their voice to this year’s Wellspring Ride for Cancer Support: The Atlantic Challenge:

Lesley Roylance

I am thrilled to be a part of this year’s Ride! I’ve been a regular at Wellspring since 2018, first as a member while going through breast cancer treatment and subsequently as a volunteer and fundraiser. I understand first-hand the invaluable support that Wellspring provides to cancer patients, and, as such, I’ve made it part of my core purpose to pay it forward and help the cancer community.

I am a Peer Support and Cancer Coach Volunteer at Wellspring, and, pre-COVID, I initiated and led a singing group at Westerkirk House, which I hope to resurrect soon.

In 2021 I celebrated my 50th birthday by walking 500 miles for Wellspring and encouraging others to join me. As a result, we raised almost $8k! I look forward to finding creative ways to support my team in this year’s Ride For Cancer Support! 

Joycelyn Merkley

My name is Joycelyn, and I am from Shelburne, Ontario. In July of 2021, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I reached out to Wellspring for support during this difficult time in my life, and incredible support is what I received. Wellspring provided a vast network of resources to help me through my journey, such as a breast cancer support group, peer support, nutrition and fitness.

I am so excited to have been selected to be a Wellspring Champion! The Ride is an excellent opportunity for me to help support others who have also been affected by cancer and give back to the Wellspring community.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank all the cyclists who selflessly give their time and energy as they are instrumental in making this fundraiser a success. I am a fortunate benefactor of your kindness and commitment.

Karen Spearing

My husband Terry and I first became aware of Wellspring about eight years ago, and we have been keen supporters of this wonderful organization ever since. Terry has been the face of our family with Wellspring, for the most part, having participated in two Wellspring ride events to date and about to embark on his third. On the other hand, I have shown my support by helping Terry with his fundraising goals – selling home baking, hosting yard sales, organizing donor events and the like.

For me, the substance and magic of Wellspring have always been ride launch day and the finish line. There I witnessed from the sidelines the bravery and fortitude of Wellspring’s cancer champions, the energy and selflessness of the riders and support driver volunteers, and the incredible Wellspring staff who make it all happen.

It never occurred to me that one day I would be an active participant in the Wellspring machine. But unfortunately, cancer became very real for me in the fall of 2021. It has been a challenging journey these past eight months. I am incredibly grateful for my superstar medical team and the loving support of family and friends, including Wellspring staff, volunteers and resources. Thank you, Wellspring and our incredible team of riders and support drivers, for all you do to keep this critically important Cancer support organization alive and growing!

Cynthia Struthers

I have been a big cheerleader for the Wellspring Ride since its inception. I cycled in the Cancervive Ride with Wellspring Calgary in 2011 and had such a great experience that I became part of the team who brought the event to Wellspring GTA in 2012. That was how the Ride for Cancer Support (aka Peloton Challenge) was born.

The first year I not only helped plan the route for the Ride, but I also cycled it to Austin, Texas.

Because I’ve been so involved in the planning of the Ride each year, I fully appreciate the enormous commitment and sacrifices made by those who participate, either as cyclists, volunteers or organizers.

Months of practice and training require extended periods away from friends and family. Funds need to be raised, and time off work needs to be planned. In addition, so much happens behind the scenes in organizing the myriad logistics of route planning, accommodations, volunteer support, safety, and even the launch and finish event celebrations. It is a massive commitment from so many people, and I’m thrilled to be able to show my support for everyone involved by being a Wellspring Champion this year. In 2016 I became a Wellspring Board Director and I am Chair of the Program, Evaluation and Research Committee. It is very meaningful for me to share my oncology nursing expertise and my personal experience with my cancer journey in this years’ Peloton Challenge.

Jeannine Quinn

I am a recent pancreatic cancer survivor (2 years as of July 22, 2022!). After going through Whipple Surgery and chemotherapy, I wanted to support others diagnosed with and undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.

My journey identified that I wanted to share what I had learned from my experience with others. I continue to advocate to raise awareness for the disease as well as encourage fundraising for much-needed research so that we can increase survival rates.

Wellspring is an excellent resource for patients and their families going through cancer! I’m honoured to be a Champion for this year’s Ride.

It’s inspiring to see the riders’ dedication by supporting Wellspring in this annual event. The time they dedicate to fundraising and participating in the Ride is greatly appreciated. Knowing we are all here to help each other gives a beautiful sense of family. I look forward to cheering on the team and welcoming them to the finish line in Halifax!

To learn more about the Wellspring Ride for Cancer Support: The Atlantic Challenge, visit our event site at wellspringride.ca

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