CMCC Clinician and interns support PWA’s Friends for Life Bike Rally
CMCC is proud to once again support Toronto People With AIDS Foundation’s (PWA) 2021 Friends for Life Bike Rally as Dr. Janet D’Arcy and ‘spinterns’ Amanda Volcko, Stephanie Black and Samantha Solly join the cyclists on their one-day, 89 km Toronto ride – an option introduced this year.
D’Arcy has participated in four PWA bike rallies as a clinical supervisor during rallies in 2015, ‘16, ’17 and ‘18, with plans to join as a cyclist in 2019, when she was unfortunately waylaid by a cycling accident.
Normally, the five-day ride takes cyclists from Toronto through Kingston to Montreal.
For the past seven years, but with the exception of last year due to the pandemic, CMCC interns have been part of the wellness crew, offering chiropractic care to weary cyclists on scheduled stops. The outreach was initiated in 2013 when Dr. Craig Jacobs approached organizers in 2013.
Since then, it has become one of CMCC’s most popular outreaches.
The opportunity to set up camp, to gather and reflect on the day’s experience seems universally moving to those who participate as cyclists or as part of the crew, feeding and caring for the cyclists.
D’Arcy recalls the first time she volunteered in 2015, following her father’s death from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Through the difficult process of caring for him, she felt profoundly supported by her family, friends and community, an experience she says is in stark contrast to that of many who live with HIV/AIDS. She recalls volunteering at the PWA food bank, and being able to offer recipients ether milk or eggs, not both. It underscored the limited resources available to recipients and how important the rally is in relieving some of the hardship.
D’Arcy says the bike rally experience has been a lesson in generosity of spirit and imbues those involved with lessons in empathy, humanity and caring that will last a lifetime.
From past participant Dr. Rebecca Burns (Class of 2020)
“The world the way we want to see it” hit me the most when I got back into my own car as I was driven home....I didn’t know how to describe the overwhelming kindness, empathy, and culture of helpfulness. I met people that every day showed me the meaning of community and found family.”
In addition to D’Arcy and her team, CMCC interns have created a number of informational videos for the riders as they prepare for the event. A small number of interns and clinicians will also be assisting the riders as a part of the Wellness Team during the in-person events.
Lastly, CMCC participants have established a fundraising team as additional support for this important cause. If you would like to consider donating, you can find CMCC’s Team page by following this link for Dr. D. and the Spinterns (https://tinyurl.com/80kforPWA)
Learn more about the Friends for Life Bike Rally