Clamouring up the side of the mountain, I see Carter McComb.
From my vantage point near the top, his green Mountain bike is a speck on the road where riders on the ALS Cycle of Hope’s Kelowna ride, make their way through the meandering mountainside.
The nine-year-old rides and fundraises for
his uncle Scott McComb, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2013. For the second year in a row, the grade 3 graduate went door to door and sent out emails to raise more than $5,,000 in pledges to win best fundraiser for the ride.
Proudly brandishing Team Triple S on his chest, in support of a team including his uncle Scott, his wife Sandra and their daughter Samantha, his little legs struggle up a mountainside that dwarfs even his father who rides tandem with his uncle, mother and 50 family and friends from Pitt Meadows, Comox and Vancouver who have made the trip to Kelowna in support of team.
The sea of red jersey’s bike the undulating 30 kilometre route, rife with steep climbs that would challenge many riders including myself, yet the nine-year-old’s unwavering pain threshold sees him the ride in it’s entirety, while many two to three times his age and size get off their bikes and walk up the hills.
Carter says it is all because he loves his
uncle so much he wants to save him, so his thin legs churn the gears over again and again as he slowly but steadily makes the climb, willing his way up the side of a mountain with the encouragement of his family.
Seeing him push his little green mountain bike up the road, with a singular focus of trading his pain for an opportunity to take it away from someone else, is an example for everyone on the road including me.
I imagine a world where everyone followed in the footsteps of children like Carter who pushed on the mountain when many bigger, faster, and stronger people could or would not. If enough people pushed as hard as he does every day, I would be willing to bet one day that mountain could be pushed over. Even if that mountain is as seemingly unmovable as ALS.