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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex resident fighting childhood cancer through cycling

- community members are invited to send a donation to support SickKids Foundation -

Photo submitted: Tony Paniccia

by Sylene Argent

Essex resident, Tony Paniccia, is riding his bike to fight childhood cancer, and he is hoping members of the community will support him in his quest.

  Paniccia is one of thousands of participants, Canada-wide, participating in this year’s annual edition of the Great Cycle Challenge Canada, which raises funds for kids fighting cancer through SickKids Foundation, in support of research.

  “It is a great cause,” he said.

 Through the challenge, Paniccia hoped to surpass his highest fundraising record for the cause, which was $1800. Thanks to community support, he has already raised over $2850 this year.

  “I’m trying to raise as much as I can,” he said, noting he has been participating in the challenge for five-years.

  He is committed to riding 200km this year, and only has 90km more to go to reach that goal by the end of the month.

  “It makes you cry when you see some pictures and it is outstanding how some kids get through their battle,” Paniccia said of why he is supporting the cause.

  Because 1,400 Canadian children are diagnosed with cancer every year, and it’s the biggest cause of death for children in Canada, Paniccia has been participating in the Great Cycle Challenge Canada for around the past five-years.

  “Kids should be living life, not fighting for it,” he wrote on his page on the Great Cycle Challenge Canada website.

  Paniccia got involved with cycling seven or eight-years ago, because it is an interest his grown children have. His family members, he said, have been his biggest cheerleaders in this self-challenge.

  Those able to donate can support Paniccia until August 31 through sending a donation to

   So far, Paniccia said, $7.8m has been raised throughout the nation though the Great Cycling Challenge Canada this year, with participants pedalling 1,831,658km across Canada. He said it is a pretty big event that people really get behind and support.

  According to the event’s website, in its five-years of existence, its community of riders – from across the nation, have ridden a total of 12,580,838km, raising $21,612,147 in support of research to develop treatments and find a cure for childhood cancer.

  Paniccia said cancer is the worst disease in the world. In the past, he has participated in the event in support of his nephew, who passed from cancer, and his niece, who passed away from breast cancer.

  “I just hate cancer. Anything we can do to beat it to the ground is something I support,” he said.

  Cycling helps him exercise, while supporting a cause near and dear to his heart.

  “Please support me by making a donation to give these kids the brighter futures they deserve,” he stated on his webpage.


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