Tahltan chief starts fundraising journey

TAHLTAN CHIEF Rick McLean embarks on a 112 km ride to raise money to help Tahltan fight cancer June 25.

TAHLTAN CHIEF Rick McLean on the road from Dease Lake to Telegraph Creek during his 112-km fundraising ride last year. He embarks on the same trek June 25.

TAHLTAN CHIEF Rick McLean embarks on a 112 km ride to raise money to help Tahltan fight cancer June 25.

He’s planning to ride from Dease Lake to Telegraph Creek in hopes of raising $25,000, nearly four times the amount raised last year that went to purchase a wheelchair for former wheelchair basketball star Bill Inkster.

Last year’s goal was to raise $3,000 but his ride made $7,000.

This year his ride is in memory of Jodi Tashoots, a young Tahltan woman who lost her battle against cancer this spring, “but whose determination and fierce spirit was truly inspirational,” said McLean in his announcement of this year’s ride.

McLean has commissioned two custom made bikes, designed and painted by Tahltan artist Alano Edzerza, that will be named after Jodi and donated to her parents after his ride.

The Tahltan Band is often asked to help families cover the costs of travel and accommodation to go with a family member who needs cancer treatment elsewhere, and it can be more money than what the band has alloted for patient travel, said McLean.

The money he will raise in pledges from his ride will be put in the Tahltan Band Special Request Fund and used to help families with the costs so they can travel and stay near their family members as they undergo treatment.

McLean begins his journey from Dease Lake to Telegraph Creek this Saturday, June 25.

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