Impact Spotlight: Ben Meakins and the Great Cycle Challenge | LuxGive

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What is the Great Cycle Challenge?

Launched in 2016, the Great Cycle Challenge brings together cyclists of all ages and abilities as they ride across Canada to fight kids' cancer.

Throughout August, each cyclist sets their own distance goal, pedaling to raise funds in support of critical research, treatment, and a cure.

Headed by SickKids Foundation, this charity fundraiser has now grown into one the nation's biggest cycling events with nearly $40 million raised for the cause.

Their vision? A world without cancer where all kids are living life, not fighting for it.

great cycle challenge fundraiser stats

What inspired you to take on this challenge?

"I started cycling in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic. It gave me a sense of freedom, a way to escape everything that was going on. When I found the Great Cycle Challenge, it really pushed me to dive deeper into the sport and make my rides more meaningful.

cycling for charity

Now cycling has become such a huge part of my life. It's taken me to some of the most beautiful places in the world, from the coast of Italy to the mountains of British Columbia. Knowing I can combine my passion with a way to make a difference in these kids’ lives is a no-brainer."

Why is this cause important to you?

You don't need to be a parent to understand the devastation of this disease. No child should ever have to fight for their lives. 

"Childhood cancer is something that touches everyone, regardless of who you are, where you're from, what your income level is. You don't need to be a parent to understand the devastation of this disease. No child should ever have to fight for their lives. 

I've been touched by so many of these kids' stories. Seeing what they're going through and how the funds support them and their families. Whether it's getting them specialized care, funding groundbreaking research, or just improving the quality of their lives while they undergo treatment.

Some of these kids are even participating in the Great Cycle Challenge while going through cancer themselves—it's incredibly motivating and inspiring."

sickkids foundation nori

Nori is a kind and caring 8-year-old who loves gymnastics, drumming and art. Nori was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma. Click here to help kids like her.

What is your goal for this year's ride?

"The last ride I did for the Great Cycle Challenge covered 1250 miles in just 30 days. It really pushed me to my limit physically and mentally. All the planning, eating, repair time, not to mention 20-30 hours on the bike—it was like a full-time job.

This year I’m riding 950 miles in a month but the focus is one long ride of 350 miles over two days. 

It’s something most people think is a crazy thing to do and that’s the point—to get people excited about the challenge and step up to support you. Because the real goal is to raise as much money as possible for these kids."

SUPPORT BEN'S RIDE!

What are some of the challenges you've faced?

No matter how hard you think it is, it's not as hard as what these kids are going through.

"Riding long distances can be brutal. You’re spending 10 hours straight on the bike so you have to pace yourself, you have to be disciplined. There’ve been times I’ve gone too hard and my body has just crashed.  

cycling training

But you have to be mentally prepared too. Once you hit that five to six-hour mark you start to suffer. Then it can be really hard to finish unless you tap into something deeper.

Riding for these kids is really sobering. You understand that no matter how hard you think it is, it’s not as hard as what they’re going through."

How has LuxGive supported you?

"Being part of a company culture that’s so invested in philanthropy inspires you to get involved. Everybody here understands the importance of what we do and genuinely wants to support you—whether it's by donating or cheering you on.

What’s amazing is that LuxGive also facilitates these initiatives with paid volunteer days and direct donation matches. A big part of the motivation to ride the Great Cycle Challenge is knowing they’ll sponsor a significant portion of the funds raised. It gives you that extra push to get out there."

LuxGive team philanthropy

The LuxGive team riding for Charity Miles. Pictured left to right: Nic (CEO), Ben (Head of Experiences), Aurele (VP Digital)

How do you hope to inspire others?

To anyone struggling with illness or disease—there are people out there who really care about you. And who are willing to do anything to support you. 

"I want to show people you don’t need to be an athlete to do something like this. When I started cycling a few years ago, I thought this kind of distance was impossible. But if you put your mind to it, your body will take care of the rest. 

My advice to anyone considering their own charity fundraiser? Just do it. Even if you’re just reaching a small group of people, every dollar matters. It’s a reminder to anyone struggling with illness or disease—there are people out there who really care about you. And who are willing to do anything to support you. "

Support Ben's Ride!

great cycle challenge donate now

Ben is facing his hardest challenge yet—a 350-mile ride over two days. That's like cycling from New York to Pittsburgh!

DONATE NOW to help him reach his goal of $2000 to bring life-changing care to brave kids like Nori.

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