Calgary teen completes 1,000-km cancer ride in B.C.

A 15-year-old boy from Calgary cycles more than 1,000 kilometres from Calgary to Vancouver to raise awareness of childhood cancers.
A teen arrives in Vancouver after a long trip to raise awareness of childhood cancer 1:56

A 15-year-old boy has cycled more than 1,000 kilometres from Calgary to Vancouver to raise awareness of childhood cancers.

Calgary teen Noah Epp says he was inspired to undertake his "Ride 4 a Reason" after he met a couple of kids his own age who were dealing with cancer.

"We just hung out and had a good time and then one of them passed away," he says.

Epp arrived in Vancouver on Saturday, after a gruelling six-day ride, accompanied by his father and two other cyclists.

Noah Epp arrives at B.C. Children's Hospital after a six-day 1,000-kilometre ride. (CBC)

"He had really been inspired by Terry Fox, learned about him at school, and decided that he wanted to do something to make a difference," says his father, Brent Epp.

A crowd of well-wishers greeted the teen on the grounds of B.C. Children's Hospital.

This is not the first time that Epp has taken on a cycling challenge. When he was nine, he rode 300 kilometres from Calgary to Edmonton and raised $30,000 for cancer research.

"Cancer — it just touches everybody one way or another... so I just wanted to do something to help," says the teen.

Up to 140 children are diagnosed with cancer in B.C. every year. The number varies from year to year but has shown no significant change. The most common childhood cancers are leukemia and brain tumours.  

Doctors say treatment has come a long way.

"If you take all of them, all mixed together, probably around 80 per cent of kids are going to survive," says Dr. Mason Bond of B.C. Children's Hospital.

The survival rate varies greatly depending on the type of cancer, he adds.

Epp aims to raise $250,000 to help fund the quest for a cure. 

"I love that my son has a heart of compassion for people and can see their suffering and wants to do something about it," says his mother, Susie Epp.

With files from the CBC’s Belle Puri