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Kids of Kinnear Street: Raising funds for the CN Ride for Cancer

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(left to right) Steve Morrier, Hannah Morrier, Julie Thompson and Sam Morrier are ride ready.  Photo by Kathleen Wilker

The Kids of Kinnear Street

How much is $10,200 in Lego?

By: Kathleen Wilker
This story originally appeared in Kitchissippi Times on May 3, 2012. Sam Morrier is in remission. Four more years of cancer-free screening and he’ll be officially cancer-free. Steve Morrier is again heading up The Kids of Kinnear Street team for the 2013 CN Cycle for CHEO. This year the team’s goal is $20,000. For more info or to donate, please contact: The Kids of Kinnear

A gang of thirty cyclists ranging in age from four to forty will be riding down Kinnear Street on May 6. They’ll head straight for The War Museum where they’ll be riding 15K in the CN Cycle for CHEO.

This indomitable team of riders thought they might raise $1000 for childhood cancers, but when team captain Steve Morrier announced on Facebook that “The Kids of Kinnear” were riding for his son, four-year-old Sam, who was on his last few rounds of chemo, the donations started pouring in.

“We met our initial goal of $1000 in the first hour,” says Morrier. “Every day for the next few days we’d raise another $1000.” The team’s current online total is $9600. “How big a pile of Lego would that buy?” Sam asks his dad. The answer is a lot. A roomful, at least.

And if you add in the piggybank one of their neighbours donated when Sam’s big sister, Hannah, went canvassing door to door, along with the backpack full of fives she also collected, the total is closer to $10,200.

This kind of generosity and community spirit is what the family has been surrounded by for the past six months. Ever since a growing lump above Sam’s eye turned out to be a malignant tumour. “Whenever we’d arrive home from CHEO, there’d be something in the oven or hot soup on the stove,” says Julie Thompson, Sam’s mom.

Along with support from their “amazing neighbours”–including a certain “spreadsheet genius” who organized meals and playdates–and the children’s teachers, the family has been very touched by the team at CHEO and the Candlelighters who offer childhood cancer support programs. “They sent Hannah to watercolour classes,” says Thompson, giving her daughter a giant squeeze. “It’s great that they look out for the siblings.”

Sam will be riding his own bike, attached to his dad’s bike by a tail-gater, on May 6. “The bike used to be Hannah’s but I painted over the pink bits in black,” explains Morrier, hauling bikes out of his shed. “And the skeleton heads on Sam’s bike glow in the dark,” adds Hannah who is looking forward to riding her very own bike the 15K with her neighbours.

The CN Ride for CHEO is just step one for the mighty Kids of Kinnear. On May 27, when thousands of runners from the half and full marathon race along the bottom of their street, these spirited kids and their parents will be leading a rocking cheering section for Candlelighters in Fairmont Park. Knowing Sam, fighter that he is, this cheering section will involve a foam sword or a super-soaker—just to cool the runners off, of course–or, at the very least, a pirate hat.

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