11:35AM UPDATE: SaultOnline.com has been informed that the bike has been found. Be watching for a full update coming up:
Sault Ste. Marie is suffering yet another black eye due to ongoing effects of crime in our city.
A cyclist who started the “Trek for Hope” journey, a cycling ride going from Vancouver to Montreal, had his trek abruptly put on hold here in Sault Ste. Marie this week.
“The Trek (bike) was bought last year soon after he was diagnosed and he had the crazy idea to cycle across Canada to raise awareness of cholangiocarcinoma. It was the first step in trying to accomplish this divine passion,” said Marie Shapp Dart on the Facebook page dedicated to the fundraiser. “It gave him something to focus on besides his cancer. So with that symbol being ripped out of the bike rack, he’s having a hard time wanting to continue. I know he will because I know Steve. When things are tough, he puts his fighting gloves on. It’s just taking a little longer to get them on this time.”
Trek for Hope (Cancer Fundraiser) was the brainchild of Steve, according to Marie.
According to Dart;
“Steve was diagnosed last April with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. He had liver surgery in July of last year. Chemo treatments started after that and spanned eight months. Given how rare cholangiocarcinoma is (13 people a year, across Canada, are diagnosed with his type of cancer), when he was diagnosed he wanted to do something to address the lack of research for this type of cancer.
So, he came up with the idea that he was going to cycle across Canada, with me following, to raise funds for research as well as to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The plan was to leave in June and cycle from Montreal to Vancouver. But because of COVID, we needed to modify some things. So, instead of cycling from Montreal to Vancouver he will be cycling from Vancouver to Montreal.”
Just before their departure date, Steve was given news the cancer had spread to his bones but that didn’t stop him from leaving the west coast in June.
In speaking with Dart last night, she said they were able to find a second hand bike so her husband could continue his ride. The replacement wasn’t in their budget so they hope people will donate, even if just to replace the bike.
When the incident happened in the parking lot of Walmart on Great Northern Road, she said she called police.
Police gave her a file number and said they wouldn’t go out and look as they had “nothing to go on”.
Among the disappointment and anger, she did make a point of thanking everyone for reaching out.
“We’ve had an outpouring of generosity and people wanting to help get the word out or donate towards a new bike. Thank you so much for helping us to stand up again. If you would like to donate specifically towards a bike and you are going through the Go Fund Me site https://gofund.me/6d86cbea , please email me at [email protected] to let me know that it is earmarked for that purpose.”
As of last night, they had left the Soo, and the story that they have told, familiar to so many locals, is now something they will take with them forever as an image of our city.
If you see the bike please contact Sault Police Services or reach out the the above e-mail.