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Tour de la Vallee raises $13,000 to help local people battling cancer

FORT KENT, Maine —  The 31st annual Tour de la Vallee raised about $13,000 on Sunday to support people who are fighting cancer. 

The fundraiser invites bicyclists as well as walkers and runners to raise pledge money in exchange for participating in bicycle courses extending as long as 100 miles, as well as 3K to 10K foot races.  Northern Maine Medical Center sponsors the event, which benefits the Edgar J. Paradis Cancer Fund. 

The Edgar J. Paradis Cancer Fund provides financial assistance to help loved ones accompany St. John Valley cancer patients who must travel outside the area to receive treatment.  All money raised goes directly to support local cancer patients, including tour chairperson Claire Moss.

“I’m also a cancer survivor and I benefited from the fund 15 years ago when I was going through breast cancer treatment,” Moss said. 

FORT KENT, Maine — August 29, 2021 — The 31st annual Tour de la Vallee event raised about $13,000 to support the Edgar J. Paradis Cancer Fund. From left, are, tour committee member Sandy Collin and tour committee Chairperson Claire Moss. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

Moss traveled to Presque Isle for 33 consecutive days to receive radiation treatments to fight her cancer. 

The fund provided mileage money so that others could transport Moss to the treatments, allowing her much needed rest and recovery time during the daily trips.

Edgar J. Paradis Cancer Fund also pays for lodging of loved ones of cancer patients when treatment is away from home. 

This year’s Tour de la Vallee saw 40 registrants at the Riverside Park starting line, including 8-year-old Rocky Anoushfar of Fort Kent.

Anoushfar, a third-grader at Fort Kent Elementary School, ran alongside his mother, Bridget Doerksen. 

“We were only gonna do the 3K but he talked me into the 5K,” Doerksen said. “He is getting me in shape.” 

Anoushfar, who wants to become a professional hockey player when he is older, participates in track and field events throughout the state. 

“This is the first time I’ve ever run more than 2,000 meters,” he said. 

Doerksen said the decision for her and Rocky to participate in Tour de la Vallee was an easy one. 

“He loves running and it is good for supporting the cancer fund,” Doerksen said.  “It’s two for one fun.” 

The event raised $5,000 in pledges and the rest from sponsorships and donations.  

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