Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Toronto Man to Race Ironman Lake Placid for Childhood Cancer Charity

It will take Rhys Spencer more than 450 training hours covering 200+km’s of swimming, 9,000+km’s of biking, and 1200+km’s of running to train for Ironman Lake Placid and raise money for the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO).

Help him in his fight to eradicate childhood cancer by
donating safely and securely here.

Rhys Spencer is a Toronto-based Ironman-distance athlete who has spent the past 10 years racing various Ironman events in North America and Europe. He is a two-time provincial age group champion, two-time amateur provincial long-course athlete of the year, Kona Ironman Championship finisher and multiple Subaru and Multisport age group winner. But his proudest accomplishments in sport have come from giving back to his community.

Over the years, Rhys has raised more than $30,000 for various charities, including: CIBC Run for the Cure; Brain Tumor Foundation’s Toronto Spring Sprint; Toronto Food Bank; and the Lymphoma and Leukemia Foundation’s Team in Training.

And now, in 2009, he is racing Ironman Lake Placid to
raise funds for the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO).

Fairness for Kids with Cancer
“I have been blessed with a healthy body that can race hard for 10 hours”, says Rhys. “This is a gift and something I believe I should use to give back to my community. Everyone has a story that ties them to a cause. I have lost my mom to leukemia, my father-in-law to a brain tumour, my grandmother to bowel cancer but one of the most heart wrenching things has been watching my cousin’s 4 year old daughter battle childhood leukemia. Since the age 2 little Myleisha has undergone cancer treatment that have left her cognitively impaired. But finally, she has finished her last round of chemotherapy. While Myleisha lives in Wales, I knew that this story must be similar to lots of kids in my own back yard.”

This prompted Rhys to seek out Richard Pady and the team who compete in various triathlon events to raise funds for POGO in honor of Richard’s daughter Elizabeth.

“What attracted me to POGO is its lack of administration fees, there are no expenses covered, no swag . Every dime I raise goes direct to this
great charity,” says Rhys.

“POGO’s goal is to work towards fairness for treatment for all kids fighting cancer no matter what kind and to give all of them a fighting chance. More than 400 kids and their families will hear those words “you have cancer” this year. I know times are tight but
POGO works hard to make sure that money goes a very long way!”

Facts about childhood cancer in Ontario:
- Each year in Ontario 400 kids are diagnosed with cancer

- 3,000 a year in Ontario receive cancer treatment and follow up care
- 2 Ontario kids die of cancer ever week making it the leading disease related cause of death

And, of those that survive half face significant side effects, like my little cousin Myleisha.

Taking on 226 Kilometres in 10 hours!
On July 26th, 2009 Rhys will race Ironman Lake Placid, a 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike ride, and 42.2 km run through the Adirondack Mountains to raise funds in support of
POGO. He is paying the $525 US race entry fee, all travel and hotel costs, and volounteering upwards of 20 hours per week of training time to compete in the event.

Please support Rhys in his quest by donating here, media interviews are available by calling 416-712-5362 or e-mail Rhys at

For more information on POGO please visit: or

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