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.