LYONS BROOK – Lloyd McLean is viewing a cycling trip as a chance to celebrate Reese Hawkins’ good health.
McLean and his wife Andrea Haughan are travelling by bicycle from Toronto to Nova Scotia from August 1 to 13 in what they are calling a Ride for Reese.
They will depart from the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children on August 1 and will average about 100 miles per day that will allow them to arrive at the IWK hospital in Halifax and the Aberdeen Hospital in New Glasgow on August 13.
“We’ll be biking every day over the 13 days because 12 figures prominently in Reese’s life,” McLean said. “It’s a happy ride for the people of Pictou County who rallied together for her.”
The ride is among several fundraising events being planned this year to raise $25,000 for two charities that helped Hawkins’ recovery: the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Canada Blood Services-One Match.
“It seems like yesterday that Reese Hawkins was first diagnosed with leukemia,” McLean said.
It was less than two months before her first birthday and not long after Haughan and Bruce Murray became her godparents.
She received treatment over a five-month period, but in the following year in January the disease returned and she required more aggressive chemo and ultimately a stem cell transplant.
On April 13, 2017, Reese will be almost seven years old and after five years of remission, she will be declared cured.
“Family, friends and citizens of Pictou County supported Reese and her family through a very long struggle and now we will celebrate together,” McLean said. “April 13 will be five years to the day since her diagnosis.”
Andrea Haughen, left, and Lloyd McLean, right, are preparing for a summer Bike Ride for Reese. In front is Reese Hawkins and behind her is her older brother Chase Hawkins. (Submitted photo)