Hazel Amos’ team, A Mother’s Love, will be competing at the upcoming Inside Ride, a fundraiser to support the Childhood Cancer Family Support Society. Shannon Whieldon (right) is a director of the society, and Amos’ good friend and personal trainer. (Samantha Anderson)

B.C. grandma, 96, preps for a bike race with a good cause

Hazel Amos’ team will take on the Inside Ride to raise money for children with cancer

Hazel Amos, 96, works out five days a week, every week.

She started her routine a year ago when she moved to Bethshan Gardens, an independent living residence in Cloverdale, B.C.

At first, her goal was to maintain her strength. Lately, however, she has been training for another reason — so she can compete for the sixth year in a row at the Inside Ride fundraiser, which supports children who are battling cancer.

The Inside Ride is a one-hour indoor bike race that pits teams of six against each other. Each team member takes a 10-minute shift on a stationary bike, and at the end of the hour the kilometres that each bike travelled are counted. The team who went the longest distance wins a prize, and so do the teams with the best costumes and the loudest cheerleaders.

Amos’ team is called A Mother’s Love, and she competes in honour of her “adopted grandson” Brendan Whieldon, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2002 when he was four years old.

Brendan’s mother, Shannon Whieldon, is Amos’ longtime friend and now her personal trainer. Together they do a full-body workout, including squats, bicep curls and push ups, twice a week, she said.

“And that sideways walk that I hate,” added Amos.

Whieldon laughed. A retired nurse, and now a manager at Physiologists Training Studio in Cloverdale, she knows that the exercises that Amos hates the most are the ones that are the best for her. “She hates training her weaknesses, so we always do it,” she said. “But that’s pretty typical of everybody.”

Whieldon and Amos have known each other for decades — since before Brendan was born.

When Brendan was in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy, Amos would relieve Whieldon at his bedside “so that Shannon could have some time to herself,” she said.

Hazel Amos stretches with trainer Shannon Whieldon.
Hazel Amos stretches with trainer Shannon Whieldon.

Samantha Anderson

“It was a gift from heaven,” said Whieldon. “Grandma Hazel would sit with Brendan in the hospital and I could take a half an hour to have a break, get some exercise, get some fresh air, have a shower. He just felt so safe with her.”

Brendan, his mother and “Grandma Hazel” started fundraising for children battling cancer the same year he was diagnosed. Whieldon also became a board member with the Childhood Cancer Family Support Society (formerly the British Columbia Childhood Cancer Parents Association).

Brendan underwent eight years of chemotherapy, and then three years of leg surgery. Today, at 20, he continues to participate in fundraising activities such as the Inside Ride, which Whieldon and her fellow board directors Dave and Suzanne Dunbar organize.

All the money that is raised will be given directly to families whose children are being treated for cancer. Families are referred to the Childhood Cancer Family Support Society by social workers at B.C. Children’s Hospital, teachers or health professionals, and the society then awards small cash grants, no questions asked.

This year, the fundraising goal is $50,000.

The Inside Ride will take place on Friday, Oct. 26 at Cloverdale Recreation Centre from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, including how to donate or participate, visit insideride.com. (To support Hazel Amos’ team, click here.)



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

Nuxalk Nation awarded $100,000 from Rural Dividend Fund for commercial agriculture project

The project will use hydroponic technology to grow vegetables for the Bella Coola Valley year-round

BC Ferries confirms Northern Sea Wolf ready for summer season

The plan is to have the Northern Sea Wolf assume the mid-coast service as of May 18

Historic building in Alexis Creek destroyed by fire overnight

“If it hadn’t been a heavy rain last night we could have lost many houses in the area”

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Be wary of robot emotions; ‘simulated love is never love’

Research has shown that people have a tendency to project human traits onto robots

One million recyclable bottles ‘lost’ daily in B.C., foundation says

387 million beverage containers didn’t make it back into the province’s regulated deposit refund system in 2017

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

RCMP arrest B.C. man following threatening Vaisakhi Facebook post

Post made reference to pressure cooker bomb at massive Surrey parade

Another illegal dump of 200 Dungeness crab discovered in northern B.C.

DFO confident new site related to larger April 2 dump

Most Read