An avid cyclist, Mike wanted to make his tour more than just a physical challenge. He wanted to raise awareness and money for a good cause.

Last spring, Mike Leech, 59, approached his plant manager to request a 2-month leave from work to complete a bike ride across Canada for charity. An avid cyclist, he dreamed of cycling coast to coast but he wanted to make it more than just a physical challenge. He wanted to raise awareness and money for a good cause.

Mike and Mountains
Mike among mountains in Revelstoke, BC. Image via @MikeRidesCanada on Instagram.

Mike is someone who gives back. When his employer, McCormick Canada, chose ALS Canada as its 2019 charity of choice, he saw an opportunity to piggyback on the momentum of the company’s annual charity day to put his plan into action.

After making arrangements at work and contacting ALS Canada to request help setting up a fundraising page and securing promotional materials, he set out from Victoria, BC on June 7, 2019. His wife, Debbie, was at his side to provide vehicle and moral support along the way.

Like many people Mike met along his cross-country ride, he wasn’t very familiar with ALS before starting his journey. “There is still a lot to do to make people aware of how ALS steals everything away,” he says. “I try to talk to people everywhere I stop. I wish my ride could have been longer, so I could do more to get the word out.”

Mike and Debbie with Donation Form
Mike and Debbie pose with an ALS Canada donation form, halfway through their journey across Canada. Image via @MikeRidesCanada on Instagram.

Chatting with Canadians across the country, Mike says he has a new understanding of the devastating impact of ALS on the 3,000 Canadians and their families living with the disease today. He’s been surprised at the number of people he’s met who have shared their stories, including one man who has been living with ALS for 30 years and others who have lost a loved one in a matter of months. Neurologists cannot predict how long a person with ALS will live, but the average prognosis is horribly short; 80% of people with ALS die within two to five years of diagnosis.

“I love time on my own out on the road. Life is wonderful,” says Mike. His days alone provide many moments for reflection and the opportunity to feel grateful. He wishes everyone with ALS could be promised more time.

“There are courageous people living with ALS from Victoria to St. John’s. They deserve the same chance to enjoy time alone, time with family, time with friends. It’s time to do something to change the future of ALS!”

You can help Mike & Debbie reach their goal. Donate to MikeRidesCanada today.

Support Mike’s ride across Canada and donate to his efforts today.

Donate to Mike's ride today