The Canadian Cancer Society celebrated its 75th Anniversary on March 28, 2013. One of the ways the Society is marking the occasion is by encouraging British Columbians to host 75 events in the next 75 days to raise awareness and funds for the critical fight against cancer. I am one of those British Columbians hosting an event and this is my story.

I am a firefighter in Burnaby, British Columbia, a cancer survivor and am currently cycling around the world for cancer research funding. I have now cycled half way around our planet. I use my annual vacation time each year to cycle as fast and as far as I can, usually around 5,000 km each time. I have crossed five countries in Europe, from Germany to Hungary. I followed the Pacific Coast from Vancouver to Mexico and then crossed the US continent from San Diego to the Atlantic Ocean in Florida. I will cross the Atlantic Ocean and continue east around the globe from Portugal in May 2013.

It has been a stressful and difficult journey so far – and sometimes hazardous – and will become more so as I enter the Middle East in the coming months. The experience in many ways is similar to my journey with cancer. I started the ride to do what I could to assist in finding a cure after my life was spared.

On my journey I have encountered temperatures from freezing to 50 degrees Celsius in the deserts and most weather situations that nature could test you with, from thunderstorms to sandstorms to the edge of a hurricane.

My journey is not only to raise funds through my role as an independent fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society but also to inspire others to do similar events in their lives. I am touched and motivated by people who I met and spoke with in my travels who have now started their own events to raise awareness. This has happened in Prague and Budapest, where there are now annual fundraising events.

I became a firefighter because I wanted to help others. On the job going to emergency calls and through our many fundraising activities as firefighters, I have found that helping others is one of the most gratifying things one can do with their life. I feel I can look back at my life and feel like I have achieved something by what I have done to help others. Can you say the same about yourself?

Join me as an independent fundraiser supporting the Canadian Cancer Society or visit firefightercycle.com for more information about my journey.

Contributed by Rudy Pospisil