A five-year-old boy from Peterborough, Ont. is on a mission to help other children in Canada by riding his bicycle.
Jack Leigh is taking part in the “Great Cycle Challenge to Fight Kids Cancer” this month, a fundraiser for SickKids Hospital.
“So they can get better,” he told CTV News Toronto. “So they are still alive.”
Jack Leigh is like many kids his age – he loves to ride his bicycle.
“I’ve been looking for things for Jack to do during this pandemic that would be a great learning opportunity and something to keep him active,” his mother Kaitlyn Leigh said. “It just sounded perfect because riding his bike is one of his favourite things to do.”
The five-year-old has pledged to ride 100 kilometres this August. Almost every day, he’s been riding about 10 kilometres with his family. Kaitlyn Leigh says it’s been an experience for the entire family.
“It’s been really great!” she said. “It’s been great to see him take on such a great challenge. It’s been a wonderful learning opportunity. I’ve been really proud to see his determination to get as many kilometres in when we go for our rides.”
The Leigh family says they have a ‘deep, personal connection’ to the SickKids Foundation.
“We had our daughter in SickKids for three weeks when she was first born,” Kaitlyn Leigh told CTV News Toronto. ““I think it’s been a really great exercise in empathy. I mean, the topic of cancer doesn’t usually come up with a five-year-old, so it’s been a great way of kind of introducing the fact that not every kid is as healthy as he is, and this is something [Jack] can do to help other children.”
There are 52,000 riders across the country taking part in the Great Cycle Challenge to Fight Kids Cancer. So far, more than $8 million has been raised.
Jack Leigh says that riding in the challenge makes him “very, very happy.”
As for his mother, her wish is that the challenge helps raise funds while teaching her son an important life lesson.
“I’m hoping he learns that he can set a goal, and he can make it if he works hard,” she said.