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

Six Fort St. James students awarded scholarships for post-secondary education

Indigenous students awarded to further their studies

Coastal GasLink gets interim injunction against Unist’ot’en

The LNG pipeline company can start work Monday with enforcement approved by court.

Editorial: Go out and play

How much is too much screen time?

Fort St. James businesses get into the Christmas spirit with decorating contest

Northland Automotive Ltd. won first place in Fort St. James Chamber of… Continue reading

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Rescued B.C. cat with misshapen legs in need of forever home – with carpet

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

Most Read