Elle Virtanen

Elle Virtanen
Cancer is the largest killer of kids in Canada, 27 children are diagnosed every week. Please donate now and support my challenge to fight kids' cancer!
I've Ridden 401.0 km to fight kids' cancer
My Rankings
  • National: 2nd
  • Province: 40th in ON
I've raised $3,080 to fight kids' cancer Donate Now

My Story

26 Apr 2018

This June, I am taking part in the Great Cycle Challenge to fight kids' cancer!

Why? Because right now, over 1,400 children are diagnosed with cancer every year, and it's the biggest killer of children from disease in Canada.

I've committed to riding 400km. The distance for children in my community to commute to Sick Kids Hospital. One way. Once. This doesn't include getting back home or the many many appointments to follow.

Kids should be living life, not fighting for it.

So I am raising funds through my challenge to help these kids and support SickKids Foundation to allow them to continue their work in developing treatments and finding a cure for childhood cancer.

Please support me by making a donation to give these kids the brighter futures they deserve.

Your support will change little lives.

Thank you.

My Challenge

  • 8.4 km ride - June 29, 2018
    Logged this ride 20 days ago
  • Preparing for the end
    29 Jun 2018

    I have a final ride planned for tonight and have invited some friends and family to join me. It's a special night. Something amazing has happened this month. Something terrible as well.

    During my ride, ten little lives have been lost to childhood cancer. Ten. The money we have raised together through my rider page and across the country will continue to fund treatment development and research to hopefully one day find a cure for childhood cancer.

    We have done what we can right now and my oh my, we've done ALOT! After this evening we will have pedalled over 400km and raised over $2600!

    It's 400km from Sudbury to SickKids. 400km away from his family, Lachlan was flown the day after he was born for specialized testing and monitoring. Sweet gift to be announced cancer free, and being carefully monitored for his melanin deposits.

    400km Malleck travelled last Friday for another round of treatment for Leukema. He will continue to travel this until April 2020. Go superhero Mighty Malleck!

    $2600 to research rare genetic brain cancers. Dear Drew leaving us too soon to be united with his sister Laura.

    $2600 to develop treatments for children with rare genetic dispositions to certain types of cancer. Laura, this all started with you. We would be almost the same age now, how different would our lives be... how much would they be the same?

    It was easy to be inspired on this ride and have a mountain of good people that surround me. Let's celebrate this accomplishment and the little lives that surround us!

    Preparing for the end
    Posted 20 days ago
  • 4.2 km ride - June 28, 2018
    Logged this ride 21 days ago
  • 21.2 km ride - June 28, 2018
    Logged this ride 21 days ago
  • 22.5 km ride - For Little Lachlan - June 27, 2018
    Logged this ride 22 days ago
  • $2,500 raised to fight kids' cancer!

    I just hit $2,500 to fight kids' cancer! Thank you so much for your support.

    Posted 22 days ago
  • Lachlan (Part 2)
    26 Jun 2018

    (con't from part 1...)

    "While this has been an emotional time, we received the most wonderful care from Sick Kids. All of the appropriate teams were brought in to see him, take the time to meet with us, address our concerns and set us up with a counsellor to meet with us personally in the initial stages to make sure we were okay. This hospital is really well run and we’re so thankful to know our son is under the care of some of the best doctors and one of the best hospitals in the world.

    He is doing so great, very happy and loving life!

    To read more general information about his condition, it can be found here: http://www.naevusinternational.com/ and/or https://www.nevus.org/ "

    Lachlan (Part 2)
    Posted 23 days ago
  • Lachlan (Part 1)
    26 Jun 2018

    This sweet pattootie's parents shared his story with me...

    "Lachlan was born with a very rare skin condition called giant congenital melanocytic nevus, only 1 in half a million children have been born with it. He was taken to the NICU moments after his arrival to be taken care of as he was born with a very large black mark that covered half of his back and bum. After some time, the doctor from paediatrics came to see us in recovery to discuss their findings and to let us know Lachlan would then be transported to Sick Kids by flight the following morning where they would carry out any necessary testing and confirm her diagnosis. A few hours later we were reunited with our baby in the NICU and able to hold him closely for a short time until he needed to be given more rest and we could rejoin him in the morning. Two nurses from the Sick Kids team flew to Sudbury to bring Lachlan directly to their hospital late the following morning; they were extremely professional, kind and supportive. One of them texted us an update and portrait once they boarded the airplane in Sudbury, another update once they landed in Toronto and then called us to let us know once Lachlan was handed over and in the care of the hospital.

    Lachlan was held in an observation area under the care of nurses, paediatrics and dermatology for 2 days. Dermatology was able to confirm his diagnosis as having giant congenital melanocytic nevus where he has what they call a large bathing trunk nevus which is a really big beauty mark of melanin pigmentation in his skin, along with 84 smaller beauty marks in various areas on the rest of his body. They provided us with some information about his condition but would have to undergo some testing to see what we may be dealing with at the present time. Along with this condition there sometimes was found to be an even rarer condition that coincides with it where melanin deposits are found in either the brain, in the spine or behind the eyes. An attempt to do an MRI without sedation was made during his stay but we were unable to help him settle to sleep through it. He was released later that day and we were asked to return the following week where they would coordinate with all of the teams required to carry out all of the required tests in one trip for us.

    We returned the following week and at 8 days old Lachlan was sedated for the first time and given an MRI scan of the brain and spine, at 9 days old he was given a thorough eye examination where they were able to rule out any concerns with his sight and at 12 days old he was sedated once again for a biopsy procedure in 3 places of his nevus where there were raised/protruding areas of concern for potentiality of melanoma skin cancer. We remained in the hospital for 6 days this time and met with various teams. After 1 night in the observation area, a private room opened and they found a way to give this to us for the remainder of our stay as they saw a special need for our family having just had a newborn baby. Once the results from his MRI were received the neuro-oncology team was brought in to the mix as there were melanin deposits found in his brain which determined he did have an accompanied condition called neurocutaneous melanocytosis.

    In the first 3 months of Lachlan’s life we had 2 immediate trips to Sick Kids to review and test everything, weeks later we spoke with the doctors over the phone once they received the final results that confirmed he did not have cancer, praise the Lord! At 3 months of age we returned to Sick Kids for follow up and met with two separate teams; dermatology and neuro-oncology where we received very positive informative appointments we were also made aware of the potential risks that he may still develop melanoma or some type of symptoms or deficits from his condition and will need to be followed closely by dermatology every siz months and neuro-oncology yearly" (con't in part 2)

    Lachlan  (Part 1)
    Posted 23 days ago
  • 14.7 km ride - June 25, 2018
    Logged this ride 24 days ago
  • Four rides to go
    25 Jun 2018

    Days on this bike are coming to an end. Six days left and I figure four rides to go.

    This experience has been much more emotional than I expected.

    I have three consistantly numb fingers now and my muscles are always tired and yelling at me, but my mind keeps me occupied as I ride... just make it to the next sign... ok to the train tracks... alright push 2 more km...

    GCCC sends updates of children currently going through treatment. They send stats on how many children have been diagnosed since I started and how many have been lost. Yes, it's motivating, but it's heartbreaking.

    I'm a new mom. My baby is almost a year and a half. To imagine him critically ill is... well... something I can't even imagine. The families who have lost and the families that are battling with their children are heros. Plain and simple. Heros.

    So, it's been emotional. It's been SO HARD!

    ... but I haven't fallen off yet.

    Four rides to go
    Posted 25 days ago
  • 24.1 km ride - June 24, 2018
    Logged this ride 25 days ago
  • 31.9 km ride - Mighty Malleck - June 22, 2018
    Logged this ride 27 days ago
  • Mighty Malleck - continuing to give after the ride
    22 Jun 2018

    "Mighty" Malleck was diagnosed with Leukemia in February 2018 at just three years old.

    One of his first lines of defence when he was diagnosed was blood transfusion and platelet transfusions, along with medicine.

    However they needed his blood counts to be at a certain level prior to the flight to sick kids, also needed his levels to be at a certain level prior to bone marrow testing due to the fact that if his platelets were too low his blood wouldn't be able to clot.

    Throughout the beginning of treatment when he was in more of an intense phase he did require blood transfusions quite regularly, in order to help his counts recover at a rate that would enable the Oncologists to continue with treatment.

    The need for blood donations is very real! Every blood donation can potentially help up to three people in need! Not only do they help cancer patients but can help people who have been in a car accident, or someone giving birth that required a c section and has had too much blood loss. You never know who will require blood products and it's something we can share with it costing us anything.

    Even after June comes to an end, please donate blood. It's a precious gift.

    Mighty Malleck - continuing to give after the ride
    Posted 27 days ago
  • 31.8 km ride - June 21, 2018
    Logged this ride 28 days ago
  • 22.5 km ride - June 20, 2018
    Logged this ride 29 days ago
  • 31.9 km ride - June 19, 2018
    Logged this ride 30 days ago
  • 17.6 km ride - Dear Drew - June 15, 2018
    Logged this ride 34 days ago
  • 15.0 km ride - June 15, 2018
    Logged this ride 34 days ago
  • For you Drew
    13 Jun 2018

    This week my rides are dedicated to Drew.

    Drew passed away in 2001 at the age of 14. Last week I rode for his sister Laura. Two children in one family both with brain cancer.

    Genetic testing revealed their mother (my godmother) had Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a rare disorder that causes a predisposition to certain types of cancer. Only 400 families in the world have been diagnosed with it.

    This week I ride for Drew and the hope of better treatments and ultimately a cure.

    For you Drew
    Posted 36 days ago
  • 22.5 km ride - For you Drew - June 13, 2018
    Logged this ride 36 days ago
  • 22.5 km ride - June 12, 2018
    Logged this ride 37 days ago
  • 26.0 km ride - June 11, 2018
    Logged this ride 38 days ago
  • Hardest ride so far
    11 Jun 2018

    There's going to be harder days. I know there is. Today was TOUGH!

    I found the road bike I'm using on the side of the road. It's an older bike (from the 70s), but well made. Friends helped with a few upgrades like brakes and tires, but it's basically "as is" otherwise. My butt went numb, hands had pins and needles, back is sore, and toe cramps for the last few kms.

    Now hear my adult complaints, 14km of discomfort until I get home to stretch and relax. Imagine being a child and having to travel 400km one way, over and over for cancer treatment. So, today was tough, but it's only a month of my life, it's only an hour of my day.

    I need to toughen up to reach 400!

    Posted 39 days ago
  • Hardest ride so far
    11 Jun 2018

    There's going to be harder days. I know there is. Today was TOUGH!

    I found the road bike I'm using on the side of the road. It's an older bike (from the 70s), but well made. Friends helped with a few upgrades like brakes and tires, but it's basically "as is" otherwise. My butt went numb, hands had pins and needles, back is sore, and toe cramps for the last few kms.

    Now hear my adult complaints, 14km of discomfort until I get home to stretch and relax. Imagine being a child and having to travel 400km one way, over and over for cancer treatment. So, today was tough, but it's only a month of my life, it's only an hour of my day.

    I need to toughen up to reach 400!

    Posted 39 days ago
  • 14.8 km ride - June 10, 2018
    Logged this ride 39 days ago
  • 24.1 km ride - June 6, 2018
    Logged this ride 43 days ago
  • $1,000 raised to fight kids' cancer!

    I just hit $1,000 to fight kids' cancer! Thank you so much for your support.

    Posted 43 days ago
  • 22.8 km ride - June 5, 2018
    Logged this ride 44 days ago
  • Laura's Ride
    5 Jun 2018

    First ride, DONE!

    This week I ride for Laura.

    Laura passed away in 1994 from brain cancer at the age of 12.

    She was a family friend, our mothers best friends and her mother was my godmother.

    This week I honour her memory and ride to find a cure.

    🖤

    Laura's Ride
    Posted 45 days ago
  • 22.5 km ride - Laura's Ride - June 4, 2018
    Logged this ride 45 days ago
  • $500 raised to fight kids' cancer!

    I just hit $500 to fight kids' cancer! Thank you so much for your support.

    Posted 75 days ago
  • Mental preparation.
    26 Apr 2018

    Today I commited to preparing for June. It's a month away, but I'm new to cycling. This is going to challenge my body, my mind and my soul. My heart is commited, now to get the rest of my being to follow.

    Mental preparation.
    Posted 84 days ago
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