Kelowna cyclist helps lead fight against cancer

Chiropractor Dr. Kari Primak to host local event July 11 to raise awareness of Sears National Kids Cancer Ride across Canada in September.

  • Jul. 6, 2016 1:00 p.m.

Kelowna chiropractor Dr. Kari Primak.

A Kelowna chiropractor doesn’t have to look far for inspiration to participate in the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride.

Dr. Kari Primak will for the second time undertake  the challenge to cycle across Canada and raise $25,000 for the Coast To Coast Against Cancer Foundation.

Primak, who works with Okanagan Health and Performance, did the ride in 2009 when she was inspired by her boss at the time, Rod MacDonald of CanFitPro.

MacDonald was a national rider for the first year of the event in 2008, and Primak remembers his speaking about his experience at the Toronto CanFitPro conference.

On her website, Primak recalls: “The following year CanFitPro was looking for someone to represent the company on the ride and I jumped at the opportunity. I have been so blessed with good health and wanted to do something to give back to children and families who were going through a difficult season.”

Her best friend Christine also took up the challenge as a rider in 2011.

When Primak graduated from chiropractic college and then decided in 2014 to move to Kelowna, one of the Okanagan Health And Performance owners and fellow chiropractor Rob Mutch experienced his son Eli being diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2010 at the age of four months. Today, Eli is now a healthy six-year-old but but Primak said it broke her heart to see a child deal with such a serious health issue at such a young age.

“When I learned that SNKCR was looking for another national rider this fall, my whole heart jumped at the opportunity…I want to do anything in my capacity to give back and make life easier for people who may be having a more difficult time.”

So Primak will join her riding teammates Christine Cairns and Siobhan McManus on the riding fundraiser adventure this year in support of pediatric cancer research.

To help support the cross-Canada initiative, The Inside Ride National Tour will make a stop in Kelowna on Monday, 6 p.m., at the Stuart Park outdoor skating rink on Water Street, across from Kelowna City Hall.

Teams of six riders will embark on a two-hour indoor cycling challenge that is fun, safe, team-based and promotes volunteerism and encourages physical activity.

All the proceeds raised from this event will benefit pediatric oncology patient care and research. Online registration closes at noon, Saturday, July 9. To sign up online, go to http://kelowna.theinsideride.com.

The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride began as an ambitious charity cycling event on behalf of childhood cancer in the world.

Now in its 9th year, the 2016 event will begin in Vancouver Sept. 7 and be completed 18 days later, Sept. 24, in Halifax.

Riding in relay style, the selected national riders will each cycle approximately 150 km and 220 kms per day joined along the way by thousands of other caring cyclists who will cycle shorter “stage ride” distances in major cities across Canada.

At the start and end of each day they will participate in community events and visit many of Canada’s 17 pediatric oncology centres and hospitals where the cancer community will share inspiring stories of strength and hope.

Together, our cyclists will raise millions of dollars on behalf of charities that improve the quality of life for children, and their families, living with and beyond

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