Sharon Lyng and Pierre Vaillant

Three simple words sum up THE RIDE

Hope. Inspiration. Courage. Those are the three words, which come to mind for RIDE volunteer Sharon Lyng.

The three simple words to describe THE RIDE. And three simple words to help move research forward at The Ottawa Hospital.

For RIDE volunteer Sharon, it’s providing that hope for future patients. “It’s the whole atmosphere. And how each person can make a difference. That one extra person participating, that one extra donation is making the world of difference because someone else can have treatment, someone else can have care through The Ottawa Hospital and hopefully be able to fight the fight.”

Sharon has been a longtime supporter of The Ottawa Hospital. She started wanting to give back when her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, when Sharon was just 8 years old. And her giving continued, her will strengthened, when her dad was also diagnosed with cancer.

Now having lost both her parents to cancer, Sharon has never been more driven to support cancer research and early detection. While she not only provides financial support to The Ottawa Hospital, Sharon finds volunteering just as rewarding and inspiring. She started volunteering for THE RIDE a few years back.

“One year I was directing traffic. Another year I was helping riders get their passes and tags. I know with such a big event like THE RIDE, it takes a lot of people and a lot of help from everyone around.”

When on the grounds for event day, Sharon thinks about the courage that the cyclists have—to train for an event like THE RIDE. “It takes courage to train and prepare for either the 117KM or the 50KM route. It’s also the courage they have to support those who are fighting diseases like cancer.”

She reflects back to 2017 and the start of the opening ceremony for the 117KM ride, when a three-time cancer survivor in his eighties took the stage to address the crowd.
“I think last year the most amazing factor was seeing Irwin Waldman, the oldest RIDE participant, on the stage before the event. He’s still so spry and showing the riders they never have to quit. You fight the fight. It was so inspiring to listen to him and then see him take off on the 117KM route with the rest of the group. It’s unreal.”

Pierre Vaillant, a fellow RIDE volunteer, echoes Sharon’s sentiments. An employee of The Ottawa Hospital, Pierre says it’s a great to give back and he even brought his niece along for the experience.

“For my niece, it was a great opportunity for her to see why we’re doing this, to help The Ottawa Hospital—and the money raised was fantastic. We do it for a good reason.”

He adds it goes beyond just volunteering some of your time. “It is more than volunteering, it is a community gathering, and together we can have success.”

So why volunteer?

Hope. Inspiration. Courage. The three simple words that help move research forward at The Ottawa Hospital.