Joel Zelikovitz is cycling the 200-km Ride to Conquer Cancer in honour of memory of his mom

Forest Hill resident biking from Toronto to Niagara Falls.


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Forest Hill resident, Joel Zelikovitz, will be biking from Toronto to Niagara Falls.

On June 13, Forest Hill resident and cycling neophyte Joel Zelikovitz will strap on some gear and pedal a whopping 200 kilometres from Toronto to Niagara — all to raise money for cancer research.

Zelikovitz entered the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer two-day cycling event in honour of his mother’s memory and has raised approximately $2,500 to benefit Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. No stranger to the disease, Zelikovitz lost his mother to breast cancer when he was 24 years old. She was treated at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre throughout her 11-year battle. Sadly, she never made it to their wedding as she died just after he had gotten engaged to his now wife, Judi, in 1982. 

Now 57 with three kids of his own, Zelikovitz is getting ready to watch his eldest son tie the knot at the end of June. “I’m remembering my mom as my son prepares for his wedding,” he said. “Every woman should have the chance to see their children and grandchildren grow up — to see those milestones.” 

Before this year, the 57-year-old hadn’t biked more than 30 kilometres in his life. But after diligently increasing his seat time, he’s been able to cover increasingly longer distances. 

“Many times I thought my lungs were puffing out my ears, but I hung in,” said Zelikovitz. “I’ll get to the finish line.” Although he is still getting used to the traffic and awkward manoeuvring of bicycle shoe cleats, he credits his friends and fellow cyclists in Steve’s Cyclepaths (the fundraising team) for his progress. “It takes a village to raise a child,” he said, “and everybody has been really supportive.” 

In eight years, the ride has raised over $119 million for Princess Margaret — one of the top five cancer centres in the world.

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