Skate4Cancer was born of love and a dream.
At fifteen years old, s4c originator Rob Dyer found his initial plan to fight in the battle against cancer rejected by friends and peers. His hope to skate across Canada and the United States, raising money for cancer research at Princess Margaret Hospital, and visiting schools and hospitals along the way, was laughable to those he brought it to. For a short while he tucked it in the back of his mind.
Two years later, Rob began to re-evaluate his original dream. Finding inspiration in marathoner Terry Fox, and Robís mother, Wendy, who was fighting cancer at the time, he sounded his vision to a new network of friends and received unconditional support. The potential that Rob knew he could fulfill became all the more certain. Rob organized a group of volunteers and fundraising began to support the 8000km trip.
Four months prior to the tripís start in Los Angeles, Rob lost a dear friend to stomach cancer, his paternal grandmother to stomach cancer, his maternal grandmother to brain cancer, and his mother to brain cancer.
In March 2004, Rob and his team of volunteers met in LA, having secured funding and a donated school bus from sponsors of the trip. Their route would take them across the Southern States to Georgia, stopping for several hospital visits. In Arizona, Rob developed a stress fracture in his ankle. The pain was so great that he decided to have it examined, and was informed by a doctor that he required a cast and medication to ease its healing. He was also told that he could not continue to skate, upon risk of further complicated injury. Rather than accept this defeating news, Rob opted to continue his skate tour, relying on painkillers and a newfound determination to overcome such unexpected obstacles.
Devastating as it was, this dilemma was not the only challenge the s4c team would face over the five-month trip. Upon reaching Louisiana in May, the team was met with a highly unexpected complication. A major sponsor for the trip was suddenly unable to participate in the tour, and withdrew its support. The s4c team was forced to disband, as the school bus that had been their home and means of transportation for the past 2.5 months was recalled. Rob proceeded to skate on his own to New Orleans, where two s4c team members planned to meet him with a car. Over the next three days, Rob skated alone nearly all day, spending one night in a motel. After the first night there was no money to spare, so Rob slept outdoors in a ditch, and the spent following night on a bench across from the local police station.
On the homeward stretch north along the eastern coastline, Rob was continually challenged by heart-breaking events. At one point, the teamís car was broken into. The car was damaged, and money and a cd player were stolen. Rob was frequently bumped or hit by passing cars; though uninjured, these experiences played with his already exhausted mind-set. Escalating physical pain in his ankle and a weary perspective made for a harrowing finale to the cross-country skate tour.
True to his original dedication, Robís drive to honour those he had lost to cancer generated the energy to complete the route. Physically and emotionally spent, Rob concluded the tour in Newmarket, Ontario, in July.
In November 2005, Rob organized a concert event at Torontoís MOD Club Theatre, with headliner Dallas Green of City and Colour. The event marked a renewal for skate4cancer; with the first skate under his belt, Rob felt that s4c could expand in new directions, targeting the significance of music within the skateboarding scene. The sold-out event was a major success, and raised $9000 for Princess Margaret Hospital.
Currently s4c is debuting its interactive website, designed by Justin Broadbent. A February 2007 skate tour in Australia is in the planning stages. The next North American tour will span from Toronto to Tampa, across the southern US to Los Angeles, and along the West Coast to Vancouver. The last portion of the trip will take the s4c team across Canada, concluding in Toronto. Twice the distance of the previous Canada/US tour, the team will stop frequently at schools to present the s4c cause, and collect funding for cancer research initiatives at Princess Margaret Hospital and other international hospitals.
skate4cancer will continue so long as the fight against cancer remains unresolved. If people wish to donate to the cause, we will continue to skate. If people have yet to hear of our cause, we will continue to tour.
skate4cancer does not directly accept donations, please see our Donations page for details on how your interests can be received by hospitals in great need of funding!
We do this out of love.
Dream Love Cure