Posted: March 25, 2013
What started out as a physical challenge for an OVC surgeon has turned into a lifelong commitment to raising funds and awareness in support of families dealing with cancer in children.
Dr. Tom Gibson, Clinical Studies, has helped raise over $530,000 through his involvement as a rider in various cycling-oriented fundraisers including the Tour for Kids, Sears National Kids Cancer Ride, and the annual Guelph Inside Ride.
Now his devotion to the cause has spilled over into one of his other passions — music.
Back in the late 1980s, Gibson was the guitar-playing lead vocalist in a rockabilly / cowpunk band called Pogo Rodeo. The band also featured drummer Tyler Stewart, who would go on to fame and fortune as one of the Barenaked Ladies.
Gibson and Pogo Rodeo will perform April 12 at Van Gogh’s Ear in downtown Guelph as part of their 25-year reunion tour. All proceeds will go to support children’s cancer initiatives through the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, a national charity dedicated to fighting childhood cancer.
“We played a show in November on Queen West in Toronto. All proceeds are going to the cause,” he said. “It should be a blast.”
For Gibson, the concert will be another turn in a journey that began in 2006.
“As a newly minted road cycling zealot I heard about a 100-mile ride called the Ride for Karen. It sounded like a great idea — ride 100 miles and raise some money for cancer,” says Gibson.
“A few of us in Guelph got together and raised about $6,000 for cancer awareness, completed the ride and had a great time. We were very happy with what we had accomplished — but it was the dedications and the stories told at the event that had the biggest impact.”
This summer, Gibson will take part in his sixth Tour for Kids in support of the Coast to Coast Foundation. Tour for Kids is a four-day, 800-kilometre ride that supports three kids cancer camps in Ontario.
In March, the fifth annual Inside Ride at the University of Guelph raised nearly $29,000 for children’s cancer initiatives.
“Every penny that is donated goes directly to these initiatives,” says Gibson. “Once again this year, together we will be making a huge difference for kids and their families dealing with cancer.”