Riding in dad’s memory

Chilliwack's Lance Nickel is taking part in this weekend's B.C. Ride to Conquer Cancer in honour of his father, Henry.

Chilliwack's Lance Nickel is taking part in this weekend's B.C. Ride to Conquer Cancer.

Chilliwack's Lance Nickel is taking part in this weekend's B.C. Ride to Conquer Cancer.

Lance Nickel will be spending Father’s Day weekend paying it forward.

The 37-year-old father of three lost his own father, Henry, to lymphoma in 2008.

After he was diagnosed in 2001, he had a few operations which compromised his immune system. In 2005, midway through Henry’s seven-year battle with cancer, he was transferred to Royal Columbian Hospital — it was April 28, one day after the birth of Lance’s first son.

Henry got pneumonia, then his lungs shut down, then his kidneys failed, and then he went on dialysis.

He died at the age of 58.

“When he passed away, he was far too young,” Lance says.

Lance felt cheated. He had just started a family of his own. Tyson was three, Lincoln was only a year old, Dylan hadn’t even been born yet, and already his father was gone.

“I needed to find a way so that other people could spend more time with family.”

So a year ago, he signed up to take part in the B.C. Ride to Conquer Cancer, not realizing until later that the event was on Father’s Day.

“It’s a way for me to make some kind of a difference,” he says.

Living on a farm, having a full-time job, and chasing after three kids, Lance has always been an active man, but he’s never done anything too extreme.

That will change on Saturday when he leaves the Cloverdale Fairgrounds on his bike for the 200km ride. Over two days, the team from B.C. will cycle south into the States. They’ll ride about 100km each day and finish in Redmond, WA on Sunday.

Lance has spent the last year training hard for the B.C. Ride to Conquer Cancer.

“Whenever I can steal a moment to go for a bike ride, whether it’s an hour or a few hours, I take it.”

He says cycling long distances “hurts like hell, but it’s a nice way to get out and get some exercise.”

Lance has raised $3,000 for the B.C. Cancer Agency (BCCA). The majority of the money came from donations from family, friends and coworkers.

“Even the kids donated a little bit.”

He also organized a garage sale where friends and family donated items to sell. All proceeds went to BCCA.

Now he’s looking forward to the long ride.

“I’m pretty jazzed up for it. I think it’ll be fun.”

With all the hard work he’s done over the year, there’s no doubt Lance will be thinking of his father on Sunday.

“He was a great man. He was a dairy farmer all his life,” he says. “Growing up on the dairy farm, it was just my brother and I, so my dad was always home and he taught us a lot.”

Henry loved soccer — he coached and reffed — and helped start the annual Chilliwack Youth Soccer Tournament.

When Lance crosses the finish line on Father’s Day, his three sons and wife Carolyn will be there to greet him. Then they’ll head back home.

What else does Lance want to do on Father’s Day?

“I’ll just leave it up to them,” he says. “We usually go up to the lake for a picnic, or play a game of soccer.”



Just Posted

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Jean-Pierre Antonio
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A new sign was installed at St. Thomas Anglican Church on Saturday, June 5, 2021 in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Community effort to install new sign at Chilliwack’s oldest church

‘We feel it’s a step in the right direction to bring the church up-to-date,’ says St. Thomas parishioner

Dennis Saulnier rescued his daughters, two-year-old Brinley (left) and four-year-old Keegan, after their truck was driven off the road and into Cultus Lake on May 16, 2020. Reporter Jenna Hauck has been recognized by the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association for her story on the rescue. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Chilliwack Progress, Hope Standard staff take home 7 Ma Murray awards

Jenna Hauck, Eric Welsh, Jessica Peters, Emelie Peacock all earn journalism industry recognition

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read