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In Canada, Sikh Bikers raise over $60k for Canadian Cancer Foundation

Sikh bikers in Canada rode a total of 12,000 kilometres and raised funds for the Canadian Cancer Foundation

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Canada motorbike group. Image source: saentertainment.ca
  • Sikh bikers in Canada rode a total of 12,000 kilometres to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Foundation
  • $60k will go towards research, prevention plans and in assisting people towards their fight against cancer
  • One of the major reasons and purposes of this 12,000 km trip across the nation was to build relations between the mainstream community and the Sikh living next-door

“This is a totally committed and passionate group of community members,” said Allan Mugford, Canadian Cancer Foundation’s regional director. He quoted these words in appreciation towards the Sikh bikers in Canada who rode a total of 12,000 kilometres to raise funds for the agency and they completed their tour on Sunday, July 17. The fundraising effort left everyone stunned and amazed as they raised over 60,000 dollars for the noble cause.

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The group of bikers toured their way through British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, before turning around in Montreal for a noble cause. This tour gathered the attention of many citizens and more than 70 individuals and groups made donations to support the cancer charity. The 24 members made their way into Surrey, Canada, where they not only raised awareness and garnered people’s interest into their virtuous journey but also attempted to build bridges between various communities, mentioned indiandiaspora.com.

Canada motorbike group. Image source: ndtv
Canada motorbike group. Image source: ndtv

The huge sum of money will go towards the research, prevention plans as well as in assisting people towards their fight against this deadly disease. The funds will also be used for paediatric cancers and children undergoing chemotherapies. “We thought about those kids that are in need  of that money and so that gave us energy and we kept fighting through it,” said one of the 24 riders, Charnjit Dhadda. One of the major reasons and purposes of this 12,000 km trip across the nation was to build relations between the mainstream community and the Sikh living next-door.

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This agenda was hugely successful and the founder of the Club, Harjinder Singh Thind was quoted saying to CTV news that, one of the major reasons and purposes of this 12,000 km trip across the nation was to build relations between the mainstream community and the Sikh living next-door. “Every city we went to the Sikh community, the non-Sikh communities, everyone was cooperative of us,” he said to CTV news. Along this journey these bikers met the supportive member of different communities and their journey was documented with the help of local TV channels and radio stations where they shared their story.

The ride was in partnership with Canadian Cancer Foundation.

– prepared by Karishma Vanjani of Newsgram. Twitter: @BladesnBoots

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Americans Arrive in Canada Seeking Affordable Prices for Insulin

Caravan to Canada trekked across the border in May for the same reason

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Americans, Canada, Insulin
Advocates from the United States exit a Canadian pharmacy after purchasing lower-cost insulin in London, Ontario, June 29, 2019. A self-declared "car. VOA

A self-declared “caravan” of Americans bused across the Canada-U.S. border on Saturday, seeking affordable prices for insulin and raising awareness of “the insulin price crisis” in the United States.

The group called Caravan to Canada started the journey from Minneapolis, Minn., on Friday and stopped at London, Ontario, on Saturday to purchase lifesaving type 1 diabetes medication at a pharmacy.

About 20 people made the trip, according to Nicole Smith-Holt, a member of the group. Smith-Holt said her 26-year-old son died in June 2017 because he was forced to ration costly insulin.

Caravan to Canada trekked across the border in May for the same reason, and Smith-Holt was on that trip, too. She said the previous group was smaller than this week’s group. Americans have gone to countries like Mexico and Canada for more affordable medications in the past and continue to do so, she added.

Americans, Canada, Insulin
U.S. residents get set to depart a Canadian pharmacy after purchasing lower-cost insulin in London, Ontario, June 29, 2019. VOA

‘Resurgence’ in visitors

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported in May that Canadian pharmacists have seen a “quiet resurgence” in Americans coming to Canada looking for cheaper pharmaceuticals.

Insulin prices in the United States nearly doubled to an average annual cost of $5,705 in 2016 from $2,864 in 2012, according to a study in January.

While not everyone purchased the same amount of insulin, Smith-Holt said most people were saving around $3,000 for three months’ worth of insulin, and as a whole the group was saving around $15,000 to $20,000.

Prescriptions for insulin are not required in Canadian pharmacies Smith-Holt said, but the caravan has them so they can prove to the border patrol they are not intending to resell them when returning to the United States.

T1International, a nonprofit that advocates for increased access to type 1 diabetes medication, has described the situation in U.S. as an insulin crisis. Quinn Nystrom, a leader of T1International’s Minnesota chapter, said on May via Twitter that the price of insulin in the United States per vial was $320, while in Canada the same medication under a different name was $30.

“We know that many people couldn’t make this trip because they cannot afford the costs associated with traveling to another country to buy insulin there,” Elizabeth Pfiester, executive director of T1International, said in a press release.

Banting House

Americans, Canada, Insulin
Smith-Holt said her 26-year-old son died in June 2017 because he was forced to ration costly insulin. Pixabay

An itinerary said the caravan planned to stop at the Banting House in London later in the day. The Banting House is where Canadian physician and scientist Frederick Banting, who discovered insulin, lived from 1920 to 1921, and the building is called the “birthplace of insulin,” according to the Banting House website.

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Smith-Holt said the group was not currently planning any future trips, but they could be organized in the near future depending on need. She hopes for long-term solutions in the United States like price caps, anti-gouging laws, patent reform and transparency from pharmaceutical companies. (VOA)