Mom runs in relay to raise money for cancer 

Great Canadian Relay from Squamish to Whistler raises money to fight kids' cancer

Lisa Geddes doesn't have much time on her hands to train for the upcoming Sears Great Canadian Run.

For the last week she has been sitting at her son Nick's bedside at B.C. Children's Hospital where he is on day seven of his recovery after a bone marrow transplant.

"All in all everything is going as expected," she said from Vancouver Tuesday. "It's just a tough ride. There have been some pretty grim moments but he seems to be faring a little bit better today."

Nick is the reason why she's signed up for the 80-kilometre running relay on Saturday Aug. 27. The run is designed to raise money for the 16 pediatric oncology centres across Canada, which support the research and treatment of kids cancer. It will be funneled through the Sears Canada Charitable Foundation.

Geddes is top of the leader board right now with $2,600 raised to date.

Her relay team of five, which she's hoping will be seven on the day, is called Run 4 Nick. There will be a fundraiser and silent auction on Tuesday Aug. 23 at Creekbread from 5 to 9 p.m.

In the meantime, it's day by day in Vancouver.

The 18-year-old Nick, a national mountain biking downhill junior champion, was diagnosed with acute leukemia in April after an accident on his bike.

It turned the Geddes's world upside down.

The cancer was in 92 per cent of his bone marrow. Chemotherapy wasn't successful.

When neither his siblings nor his parents, who are often the best candidates for a transplant, were a match, doctors found an anonymous 24-year-old male donor for Nick. The marrow was drawn from the donor's pelvic bone, cryogenically frozen and sent to Vancouver. It was put in a warming bath and transferred into Nick. That process took an hour.

But it hasn't been a walk in the park.

It's extremely painful. Nick is unable to talk and it's difficult to eat. Because he has no white blood cells, he has sores in his mouth, all the way down his GI tract and into his stomach.

He will be in an isolated, specially ventilated room at the hospital for another month, with limited visitors.

"Nick's still got a long way," said Geddes.

"Everything is going according to plan and now it's just a waiting game for the new marrow to start doing what it's supposed to be doing."

In the meantime, there's the Creekbread fundraiser and silent auction featuring the Hairfarmers. Creekbread will donate $3 from every pizza ordered.

And then there's the run.

This is the first every Great Canadian Run and it kicks off in Whistler on August 27. Next month there will be a run in Toronto to Blue Mountain and in October a run in Ottawa to Montebello.

Communications manager Sara Forbes said they're hoping to raise $1 million in this first year. Relay teams are being asked to raise $5,000 and solo participants $2,500.

It's not too late to register or to donate. Go to




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