Cops for Cancer visit to Langley an emotional one

The Cops for Cancer rolled through Langley Tuesday, and while they were all smiles as they stopped around the community, there was a serious purpose behind their visits.

“It’s pretty emotional,” Teresa Sperger said. “Those are some pretty great people.”

Sperger’s son Christopher passed away in 2007 after a four-year battle with cancer. Christopher and his family were taken under the wing of the Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley team.

The team members, past and present, still keep in touch with the family, Sperger said.

“They keep Christopher’s memory alive,” she said.

The team of law enforcement personnel from the Lower Mainland is one of four Cops for Cancer teams that rides around the province at this time of year, raising funds to combat childhood cancers and to support the patients through the Canadian Cancer Society.

They include three members from Langley this year, as well as police, border guards and corrections officials who hail from anywhere between Delta and the Fraser Canyon.

Their nine-day ride will take them as far east as Boston Bar, a trip they completed on Sunday.

They started their ride in Langley under sunshine, a welcome break from the rain and hills they’d faced in Mission on Monday. On Sunday, the riders had done the longest leg of the Tour, from Hope to Boston Bar and back again, passing Hell’s Gate twice and covering about 130 km.

One of their early stops of the day was at Shortreed Elementary in Aldergrove, where Christopher Sperger attended.

Teresa Sperger spoke to the students about how much her son had enjoyed school and spending time with his friends there.

The Cops for Cancer then handed out quilts to Sperger and to the family of Katelynn and Allysson Bartlett, twin girls in Grade 5 at Shortreed.

Katelynn is currently in treatment for cancer, and is doing a lot of her learning from home right now, said Principal Tanya Rogers. The school is arranging for Katelynn to be taped or Skyped in for some things, such as the school’s annual public speaking festival.

“I think it’s pretty nice of them,” said Ally, who accepted the quilts for her sister and herself.

The Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley has already raised more than $257,000 this year. On their ride, which finishes on Oct. 3, they will meet with thousands of students at schools around the region, stop at local businesses, and ride more than 800 kilometers.

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