April 29/10 15:24 pm - Leukemia Survivor cycling across Europe to Raise Awareness
Posted by Editoress on 04/29/10
Cycling brings out the best. At this moment and for several weeks, one of Québec's finest lawyers, William Brock, is cycling across Europe from St-Nazaire on the Atlantic Coast to Budapest and beyond, in order to raise awareness and some money for leukemia research. In February 2010, Bill celebrated five years of remission from acute leukemia. He survived because of new advances in cancer treatment and a bone marrow transplant from his brother.
An avid cyclist, while he was undergoing the worst during his treatment, he kept his new bicycle in his room as a symbol of the life he did not want to lose. Having survived, he is determined to give back.
As soon as he was well enough, he began to raise money for leukemia research and he chose the hospital where he had been treated, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont - part of the University of Montréal as the beneficiary. As in Toronto, Montréal cancer research and treatment are focused on a number of "Centres of Excellence," each specialising in certain forms of the disease.
When Bill made it to his fifth "birthday" (counting from the date in 2005 when he received his bone marrow transplant) it became apparent the nothing was going to stop him from giving back to the medical centre that had made his life possible.
Bill was on the first Air Canada flight to France when European air space opened up last week as the volcanic ash cloud settled. He and a cycling partner (Serge) drove to the Atlantic coast (St Nazaire) and set out to follow one of the cycling dedicated Euro-vélo routes that criss-cross Europe. He is following Euro-vélo 6, which begins in St Nazaire, follows the Loire, the Rhine and the Danube all the way to the Black Sea. He plans to make it to Budapest and to a village not to far from there where his maternal grandparents were born.
William's blog, which he calls "A Celebration of Life" is updated daily. It is full of photos of the beautiful countryside through which he is travelling with his good friends, including two other doctors from the Université de Montréal. He is travelling along Vélo-6, a splendid cycle route through the Loire that crosses Europe and ends at the Black Sea.
Montreal Gazette article