Big ride for group sup­port­ing can­cer pa­tients

Har­bour Grace woman in­spires No Retreat No Sur­ren­der


Although it’s been al­most five years since June Bickam of Har­bour Grace lost her battle with can­cer, her friends and fam­ily are still help­ing her mem­ory live on in a very big way.

No Retreat No Sur­ren­der — an an­nual event whose name comes from a com­ment June made to her hus­band John fol­low­ing a biopsy pro­ce­dure — raises funds to sup­port oth­ers bat­tling can­cer.

Ev­ery June, a group of mo­tor­cy­cle en­thu­si­asts gather in Har­bour Grace to ride their bikes as part of the June Bick­ham Me­mo­rial Ride. Par­tic­i­pants are en­cour­aged to ride in mem­ory or in hon­our of a loved one. Or­ga­niz­ers also hold a dance each year.

The in­au­gu­ral event in 2011 raised $4,000 for the H. Bliss Mur­phy Can­cer Care Foun­da­tion’s pa­tient and fam­ily sup­port fund.

“It started there, and it just gained mo­men­tum and kept on go­ing through,” her son Curtis Bick­ham told The Compass.

That to­tal has grown ev­ery year since, with over $8,000 do­nated to the same fund in 2014. In four years, $24,700 was raised for the pa­tient and fam­ily sup­port fund.

“The best thing about it is you’re help­ing peo­ple,” said Curtis, who went on to note the cost of drugs for can­cer treat­ment can prove to be quite ex­pen­sive. “There’s a lot of money right now go­ing to re­search, and there’s not

a lot out there to help the peo­ple.”

June was ini­tially di­ag­nosed with stage-four breast can­cer in July of 2008.

“It went on from there,” said Curtis. “The treat­ments were go­ing good, and then they went bad, and then go­ing good — up and down. And even­tu­ally, there was noth­ing more re­ally you can do.”

June Bick­ham died 2010.

Paul Crane from the Canadian Army Vet­er­ans Mo­tor­cy­cle Unit con­tacted John Bick­ham a short while later to of­fer con­do­lences — June had been in­volved with the group her­self and loved rid­ing mo­tor­cy­cles. The pos­si­bil­ity of ar­rang­ing a me­mo­rial ride to re­mem­ber June was brought up.

Since then, No Retreat No Sur­ren­der has man­aged to at­tract plenty of com­mu­nity sup­port from groups like Trinity Con­cep­tion RCMP, lo­cal vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments and Royal Canadian Le­gion groups, Har­bour Breeze Cater­ing, the Town of Har­bour Grace and the Har­bour Author­ity of Har­bour Grace.

This year’s ride on June 13 will be pre­ceded by a meet and greet at the Ad­mi­ral’s Ma­rina in Har­bour Grace from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mo­tor­cy­cles will leave at 2 p.m.

Later that night, a dance will be held at Har­bour Breeze Cater­ing. It starts at 9 p.m.

Event or­ga­niz­ers are also sell­ing tick­ets on a 50-50 draw. It value could peak at $10,000.

Any­one look­ing for more in­for­ma­tion about No Retreat No Sur­ren­der can call John Bick­ham at 596-6100, Curtis Bick­ham at 595-2022, or Mark Bick­ham at 597-4245.





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