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Holland man cycling across Canada to raise money for cancer, sarcoidosis stops in Regina
Ken Gousseau, CTV Regina
Published Thursday, June 11, 2015 5:13PM CST
A Holland man who is cycling across Canada to raise money for a good cause made a stop in Regina on Thursday.
Michael van Beek is biking from coast to coast to raise money for cancer and sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disease he was diagnosed with in 2012.
Van Beek, 48, says his journey was inspired by Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope. He remembers seeing Fox run during his first visit to Canada back in 1980.
“I’d like to do a tribute to him,” van Beek said. “My journey is called Strength of Hope.”
Van Beek began his trek across Canada on April 12 in St. John’s, Nfld. – the same date and place where Fox started his run 35 years ago.
“I was standing in the freezing cold at 8 o’clock in the morning in the harbour of St. John’s and started out there,” van Beek said.
“I thought I was prepared, but it was so cold. It was climbing, headwinds, snowstorms, ice rain and after the first day, I almost thought I would quit because it was so brutal.”
But van Beek is still pedalling on, to the surprise of his doctor in Holland, who had told him most people with sarcoidosis wouldn’t have the energy to cycle such a great distance.
“She said… you’re doing a very huge thing so if you do that, be prepared but I don’t think you’re going to do it because it’s very hard for people like you to do such a thing, even for a healthy guy,” van Beek said.
“It gave me the strength to go on because I thought, I have to do this.”
Van beek’s website, strengthofhope2015.com, includes blog updates and links to make donations.