Ten years ago, Taylor Pedersen was diagnosed with Ewings sarcoma. He was just 17, and the rare cancer was aggressively attacking his connective tissues. Taylor and his family would walk away from his successful battle with cancer convinced of the power of early-diagnosis, and they went on to found the Pigeon Lake Pedal as a way to support this.
“It really started with a bang,” says Lauren Pedersen, Taylor’s sister. Now going into its 10th year, the Lion’s Club of Pigeon Lake-organized event is a day-long bike ride that raises money and awareness surrounding cancer research and early diagnosis. Held at Pigeon Lake, 105 kilometres southwest of Edmonton, the funds raised through the Pigeon Lake Pedal’s participants, sponsors and donors benefit the Alberta Cancer Foundation. The day includes a family barbecue, prizes and events, and this year’s festivities will take place on June 28. The event hosts long and short rides, family-friendly activities and the opportunity to walk the route.
Since it began, the Pedal has raised almost $400,000, which was donated towards the purchase of a PET/CT scanner for the Cross Cancer Institute. The scanner produces higher-resolution images that can detect tumours more accurately, and scans four times as many people per day. The event continues to support clinical trial research at the Institute.
“The biggest highlight for me is just being together with everyone for the whole day, and feeling so much support and kindness,” says Lauren. “Knowing that, at the end of that day, we have all made a small difference and are motivated to continue doing so.”