Jennifer Pendray spent almost every day with her father from diagnosis, to the day he died.
Four-months pregnant with her second son Owen, she diligently made a point of visiting and caring for her father David Pendray who had been diagnosed with ALS in February, until the hard-working farmer’s lungs gave out 13 months later, much like the 1-2 people the disease claims in Canada every day.
“He went from being a very active dairy farmer and very physically active in his life to quickly progressing to a man who needed to be in a wheelchair,” Jennifer said. “Here is this person you count on and have relied on for you your whole life. If the hot water broke down I would call my dad, if something happened to my car I would call my dad. If my older son had a question about why the sky is blue or the grass is green… I would hand him the phone. To have that taken away from you is very hard.”
With the loss of her father still fresh in cialisfrance24.com her mind, she introduced herself to Cindy Lister who created the ALS Cycle of Hope with her friend Robin Ferrell after Lister lost her father Marcel Grenier to the debilitating disease. The school teacher who shared Pendray’s pain, vividly recalls her first impressions of their meeting two years ago.
“What blew me away is her application, just how serious and committed she was from the get go she wanted to be fully engaged and was going to give it all she had,” Lister said. “At that point (I realized) the project and the idea for the Cycle of Hope did not belong to me. It was an opportunity for others to take on as their personal healing as well as growth and to inspire others.”
Since then Pendray, who is a massage therapist and works with the Canadian Olympic Diving team, has come on as one of the trainers for the riders who commit to six months of training before taking on the 510-kilometre journey from Kamloops to Keremeos raising funds and awareness for the fatal disease.
Now 371-kilometres into her second Cycle of Hope along with 11 other riders and only two more days to go, Pendray says the mission of the ride that has already surpassed their $50,000 goal, and her fathers pledge still motivate her today.
“It is pretty amazing. My dad insisted that his diagnosis and early death was not for nothing. He really wanted to leave a legacy and the community to be aware of what this disease was,” Jennifer said. “The Cycle of Hope is part of my family now. I (plan) on being with the Cycle of Hope as long as it takes to find a cure and find answers to the disease. I am here for the long haul.”
Arnold Lim is a photojournalist with the newspapers of Black Press and one of 12 riders on the ALS Cycle of Hope where 12 riders pedal from Kamloops to Keremeos, August 6-13.
Day 7 sees the team ride from Penticton to Osoyoos Aug. 12. For more information about the tour or to check out his daily blog posts visit cycleofhope.ca