Lt. Aaron Niles of 16 Wing, CFB Borden, will lace up on Friday, September 10 to walk 30 kilometres, wearing a 30-pound rucksack, to raise funds for the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s (RVH) Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program, hoping to lessen the load for future cancer patients.
The soldier’s “Ruck for a Cure” personal fundraiser was created in honour of his younger brother’s diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2010. At that time, his brother’s prognosis was very grim, having been given only 30 days to live. That is why the number 30 holds such important significance to Aaron and his family. Thanks to the care his brother received, he is alive and doing well today.
“I am blessed to still have my brother alive today but, unfortunately, not everyone is so fortunate,” says event organizer, Aaron Niles. “Cancer is something that affects us all at some point in our lives and only by supporting each other, can we win the fight against cancer.”
While RVH does not provide paediatric cancer treatment, Aaron is passionate about raising awareness about how cancer impacts so many families. Many of his colleagues at 16 Wing have also been affected by cancer and he is dedicating his walk not just to his brother, but to those colleagues whose name tags he will wear along his journey to RVH.
“We are so grateful to Lt. Niles for undertaking this incredible trek and for supporting patient care. RVH would not be able to evolve or expand without the support of its communities,” says RVH Foundation CEO, Pamela Ross. “Events like Ruck for a Cure are very meaningful and they allow RVH to put the best technology, tools and programs into play to support patient care.”
RVH’s Cancer Centre opened in 2012, and has been able to bring cancer care closer to home for thousands of patients. Today, the centre has over 90,000 cancer patient visits annually, saving local cancer patients and their families, an estimate 12 million kilometres of travel to and from the Greater Toronto Area for treatment every year.
Those who would like to support Lt. Aaron Niles and his goal of raising $30,000 in support of patient care at RVH, are encouraged to visit www.ruckforacure.ca