Blue Line

Pedaling for hope: How Sgt. Dayne Campbell’s participation in the Tour de Coast fights pediatric cancer

September 1, 2023  By Brittani Schroeder

Photo credit: Dayne Campbell

Sgt. Dayne Campbell always knew he wanted to be a police officer. Though he’s not 100 per cent sure what first attracted him to the profession, he can very clearly remember the police department LEGO set that he received in grade one. “The reality is that the idea of being able to help people, catch the bad guys and give back to my community, was always something that appealed to me,” he said.

Campbell has been involved with the Cops for Cancer and their Tour de Coast initiative for over 15 years. Back then, he was a new father, and it felt like the right fit because of his love of cycling and being able to fundraise for children. “I also believed that cycling the 900km in nine days for both my mother and grandmother, who had both experienced battles with cancer, would be a good way to support them in my own way.”

Campbell’s two children quickly became part of his fundraising crew and helped him out at numerous events. He and his family quickly built relationships with some of the families Cops for Cancer supports through Camp Goodtimes. “I gained some very special friends over the years. It has been incredible, seeing these children grow up through elementary school and seeing them through to graduation.”

As a rider for Cops for Cancer, Campbell learned how the fundraisers are the main source of funding for Camp Goodtimes. After visiting the camp for the first time, Campbell’s life had changed. “You see hundreds of kids who are in various stages for their cancer journeys, and it is pretty emotional to see them being kids again, all the while being cared for by medical professionals, volunteers and other camp staff. It’s the type of place that confirms for you, as a police officer, that there is still a lot of special, very caring people in this world.”


“I challenge all first responders to consider future participation in the cause. Come join us!”

Two families’ stories touched Campbell, and are the main reasons he’s continued with this cause for so long. Both the Wright family and the DeHass family have special stories to share about their experiences with cancer at a young age, their involvement with the Canadian Cancer Society, and the Cops for Cancer Program. “One individual in particular, is Casey Wright, whom I’ve known since he was six years old. Over the years, Casey has gone through over 20 brain surgeries, countless months in the hospital, and has had many life-altering challenges. Throughout his journey, Casey has remained unbelievably strong, upbeat, an excellent role model who is outspoken in the cancer-fighting community, and he is an important reminder to us all that the fight is never over.” Casey Wright is now an aspiring actor making his way through adulthood.

An important initiative

Cops for cancer began in 1994, when Edmonton Police Service Sgt. Gary Goulet met Lyle Jorgenson, a then five-year-old boy who had cancer. More than 25 years later, Cops for Cancer is a national program that raises money for live-saving childhood cancer research and to support children with cancer and their families navigate an extremely challenging experience. In British Columbia, Cops for Cancer hosts four cycling tours every September in regions across the province.

Cancer is something that affects a considerable portion of the Canadian population. “It is one thing to see an adult go through a battle with cancer, but it is a whole different thing when you see an innocent child battling this disease, some of whom will be battling it for their whole life.” For the last 15 years, Campbell has had the pleasure to see and hear countless stories of children who are able to beat the disease and return to being kids. However, at the same time, he has heard the heartbreaking stories where “we lose some of our dear friends too early in their lives.”

Campbell emphasizes the importance of pediatric cancer research, because there is a significant difference in the types of treatments that kids require during their cancer journey, compared to a fully developed adult. “Some of the treatments that are designed to kill cancer greatly affect a child’s development, and I have seen firsthand the long-term effects that children have as a result of the various treatments they’ve received. Issues around eyesight, growth, puberty, paralysis, and many more that I don’t even have the expertise to speak about, are only a small number of side effects of these treatments.”

A challenge for all officers: Join the program!

As a police officer, father and husband, this cause has meant a lot to Campbell and his entire family, who have helped him throughout the last 15 years. He’s travelled over 13,000 kilometres during the Tour de Coast, he’s attended countless community events and schools, and participated in many fundraisers along the way. “Cops for cancer has helped me become a better person and helped me see a different side to policing along the way. I’m sending out a huge thank you to all of my 400+ teammates, the hundreds of support crew members, volunteers, and the employees of the Canadian Cancer Society and the Vancouver Police Department. My team has been lucky and fortunate enough to be able to raise over 6.5 million dollars, and I’ve personally helped raised over $150,000. The years of continued support from everyone involved make this cause something truly special.”

Sgt. Dayne Campbell knows it’s been an honour to be a part of the Cops for Cancer program for so many years. “I challenge all first responders to consider future participation in the cause. Come join us!”

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