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Cops for Cancer riders brave rain on journey through Fraser Valley

Things got a little wet and wild as the Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley team tackled Day 5 on a rainy Monday.

Things got a little wet and wild as the Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley team tackled Day 5 on a rainy Monday.

We started the day in Chilliwack visiting several schools - Evan's, Bernard, and Little Mountain elementary schools, as well as Rosedale Traditional Middle School.

Then it was through Agassiz and on to Edwin S. Richards Elementary, Heritage Park and Hatzic secondary schools before winding up the day in Abbotsford.

At Rosedale Traditional Middle School in Chilliwack, we were honoured with another special bead to add to our growing collection.

At the outset of tour, each rider received a piece of twine with beads spelling out their name and we've been adding new beads every day.

The beads hold a special significance, but the whole process and the fact we do it also holds a special meaning.

B.C. Children's Hospital runs a bead program for pediatric cancer patients. Each child receives a necklace with beads spelling out their name. Then, as they go through treatment, they receive a bead for every procedure. The beads are a different colour and symbolize a different treatment or medical procedure - chemotherapy, radiation, lumbar punctures and needles, to name a few.

Some of the kids' necklaces are heartbreakingly long.

The team receives beads to symbolize different parts of our nine-day journey.

Ours are much easier to get. For every day we get a weather bead. The one for Monday's ride will be blue to signify the rain.

Black beads are bestowed upon riders who crash. Pink ones are given to those who perform a random act of kindness for a fellow rider.

When we visit a school of a junior team member who lost their battle with cancer, we receive a special memorial bead like we did at Rosedale school. They are silver and bear their first initial.

It's yet another way we honour the people we are riding for.

For more information about Cops for Cancer, or to make a donation, visit

Delta Optimist reporter Jessica Kerr is the media rider with the 2011 Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley team. You can also follow the journey on her blog at