Hazel Amos’ team, A Mother’s Love, will be competing at the upcoming Inside Ride, a fundraiser to support the Childhood Cancer Family Support Society. Shannon Whieldon (right) is a director of the society, and Amos’ good friend and personal trainer. (Samantha Anderson)

B.C. grandma, 96, preps for a bike race with a good cause

Hazel Amos’ team will take on the Inside Ride to raise money for children with cancer

Hazel Amos, 96, works out five days a week, every week.

She started her routine a year ago when she moved to Bethshan Gardens, an independent living residence in Cloverdale, B.C.

At first, her goal was to maintain her strength. Lately, however, she has been training for another reason — so she can compete for the sixth year in a row at the Inside Ride fundraiser, which supports children who are battling cancer.

The Inside Ride is a one-hour indoor bike race that pits teams of six against each other. Each team member takes a 10-minute shift on a stationary bike, and at the end of the hour the kilometres that each bike travelled are counted. The team who went the longest distance wins a prize, and so do the teams with the best costumes and the loudest cheerleaders.

Amos’ team is called A Mother’s Love, and she competes in honour of her “adopted grandson” Brendan Whieldon, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2002 when he was four years old.

Brendan’s mother, Shannon Whieldon, is Amos’ longtime friend and now her personal trainer. Together they do a full-body workout, including squats, bicep curls and push ups, twice a week, she said.

“And that sideways walk that I hate,” added Amos.

Whieldon laughed. A retired nurse, and now a manager at Physiologists Training Studio in Cloverdale, she knows that the exercises that Amos hates the most are the ones that are the best for her. “She hates training her weaknesses, so we always do it,” she said. “But that’s pretty typical of everybody.”

Whieldon and Amos have known each other for decades — since before Brendan was born.

When Brendan was in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy, Amos would relieve Whieldon at his bedside “so that Shannon could have some time to herself,” she said.

Hazel Amos stretches with trainer Shannon Whieldon.
Hazel Amos stretches with trainer Shannon Whieldon.

Samantha Anderson

“It was a gift from heaven,” said Whieldon. “Grandma Hazel would sit with Brendan in the hospital and I could take a half an hour to have a break, get some exercise, get some fresh air, have a shower. He just felt so safe with her.”

Brendan, his mother and “Grandma Hazel” started fundraising for children battling cancer the same year he was diagnosed. Whieldon also became a board member with the Childhood Cancer Family Support Society (formerly the British Columbia Childhood Cancer Parents Association).

Brendan underwent eight years of chemotherapy, and then three years of leg surgery. Today, at 20, he continues to participate in fundraising activities such as the Inside Ride, which Whieldon and her fellow board directors Dave and Suzanne Dunbar organize.

All the money that is raised will be given directly to families whose children are being treated for cancer. Families are referred to the Childhood Cancer Family Support Society by social workers at B.C. Children’s Hospital, teachers or health professionals, and the society then awards small cash grants, no questions asked.

This year, the fundraising goal is $50,000.

The Inside Ride will take place on Friday, Oct. 26 at Cloverdale Recreation Centre from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, including how to donate or participate, visit insideride.com. (To support Hazel Amos’ team, click here.)



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

International Macaron Day: Buy a treat, support the KGH Foundation

Tasty treats can be purchased around Kelowna, March 20

Protected bike lane, multi-use bridge to improve Kelowna cycling network

Construction begins next week to improve the city’s cycling network.

West Coast Poke bowls coming to Kelowna’s downtown

Pacific Poke is opening a location on Bernard Avenue

Concert to conquer cancer comes to Vernon, Kelowna

All proceeds go to the B.C. Cancer Foundation’s Childhood Cancer Research Initiative.

Kelowna petting zoo closing its gates

Hoof Prints Barnyard announced, Tuesday night, it will be closing

The UBC Innovation Library has helped over 1,100 students since opening in 2015

Students across B.C. can access their academic resources at the UBC Innovation Library

BC man ‘parks’ horse during liquor store pit stop

As long as animal wasn’t jaywalking, no problem, says Parksville official

Beloved Okanagan-Skaha school district champion dies

Bruce Johnson was a teacher, principal and long-serving school trustee in Penticton

’Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Concert to conquer cancer comes to Vernon, Kelowna

All proceeds go to the B.C. Cancer Foundation’s Childhood Cancer Research Initiative.

Police lock down part of Armstrong after ‘live grenade’ discovered

An ordnance believed to be a grenade found on Smith Drive between Dairy Queen and Anchor Inn Pub

Dutch police question new suspect in deadly tram shooting

Police are looking for additional suspects in the shooting

Starbucks to test recyclable cups, redesign stores in B.C., U.S. cities

The company also said it plans to redesign its stores as it adapts to increasing mobile pick-up and delivery orders

In pre-election budget, Liberals boost infrastructure cash to cities, broadband

The budget document says the Liberals have approved more than 33,000 projects, worth about $19.9 billion in federal financing

Most Read