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OPG employees climb, pedal to help fight childhood cancer

This summer, OPG employees are doing their part to take the fight to childhood cancer.

OPG employee Laci Farczadi took part in the Great Cycle Challenge in June. Eight employees raised more than $8,500 for SickKids' Foundation.
OPG employee Laci Farczadi took part in the Great Cycle Challenge in June. Eight employees raised more than $8,500 for SickKids' Foundation.

In June, a team of eight OPG employees hit the pavement to take part in the Great Cycle Challenge, riding a combined 6,668 km and raising $8,765 in support of Toronto’s SickKids Foundation for childhood cancer research.

And in August, OPG employee Adam McClare will set out to climb five mountains in five days in the Canadian Rockies, with the goal of raising $50,000 for the same foundation.

The mission for both these charity drives is the same: to end childhood cancer in our lifetime.

One in every five Canadian children with cancer do not survive, making it the deadliest disease for children today.

“Despite progress, cancer still remains the leading disease-related cause of death of children in Canada,” said McClare, a Senior Communications Manager with OPG. “I was inspired by family and friends who have bravely battled cancer to help make a difference in this fight.”

OPG employee Adam McClare climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in 2014 for his Summit for SickKids charity.

For the month of June, the Great Cycle Challenge encouraged cyclists of all ages and abilities to set a personal riding goal in support of childhood cancer research. Nationally, the initiative clocked a total of 2,331,592 km and raised a record $4,347,211 for childhood cancer research.

The OPG team, dubbed the Power Riders, included employees from the company’s hydroelectric and nuclear operations. While they didn’t ride together, each member set personal targets, with a collective goal of riding a combined 7,000 km.

“I was stoked to be a part of this challenge and raise funds for such an important cause,” said Zach Wood-Seams, an Assistant Plant Engineer in OPG’s Northwest Operations who biked more than 380 km and raised more than $500.

Meanwhile, McClare has been busy over the past year training and planning for his climb in the Rockies later this summer.

OPG employee Adam McClare, right, at the summit of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina in 2013.
OPG employee Adam McClare, right, at the summit of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina in 2013.

This will be the fifth fundraising mountain climb for his “Summit for SickKids” charity, which has raised more than $170,000 to date. The OPG manager helped found the charity in 2010 to raise funds for SickKids Hospital’s Oncology Department and Cancer Genetics Research Program.

From August 12 to 16, McClare and his team of nine climbers will trek up five peaks in Alberta over five consecutive days, with each mountain dedicated to a child who is currently battling or has recently battled a rare form of cancer at SickKids.

Previous climbs have seen the team venture to the top of some of the world’s highest mountains, including Mount Cotopaxi in Ecuador, one of the tallest volcanoes in the world, and Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas.