Hazel Amos’ team, A Mother’s Love, will be competing at the upcoming Inside Ride, a fundraiser to support the Childhood Cancer Family Support Society. Shannon Whieldon (right) is a director of the society, and Amos’ good friend and personal trainer. (Samantha Anderson)

Cloverdale grandma, 96, proves ‘A Mother’s Love’ knows no age limit

Hazel Amos’ team will take on the Inside Ride to raise money for children with cancer

Hazel Amos, 96, works out five days a week, every week.

She started her routine a year ago when she moved to Bethshan Gardens, an independent living residence in Cloverdale.

At first, her goal was to maintain her strength. Lately, however, she has been training for another reason — so she can compete for the sixth year in a row at the Inside Ride fundraiser, which supports children who are battling cancer.

The Inside Ride is a one-hour indoor bike race that pits teams of six against each other. Each team member takes a 10-minute shift on a stationary bike, and at the end of the hour the kilometres that each bike travelled are counted. The team who went the longest distance wins a prize, and so do the teams with the best costumes and the loudest cheerleaders.

Amos’ team is called A Mother’s Love, and she competes in honour of her “adopted grandson” Brendan Whieldon, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2002 when he was four years old.

Brendan’s mother, Shannon Whieldon, is Amos’ longtime friend and now her personal trainer. Together they do a full-body workout, including squats, bicep curls and push ups, twice a week, she said.

“And that sideways walk that I hate,” added Amos.

Whieldon laughed. A retired nurse, and now a manager at Kinesiologists Training Studio in Cloverdale, she knows that the exercises that Amos hates the most are the ones that are the best for her. “She hates training her weaknesses, so we always do it,” she said. “But that’s pretty typical of everybody.”

Whieldon and Amos have known each other for decades — since before Brendan was born.

When Brendan was in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy, Amos would relieve Whieldon at his bedside “so that Shannon could have some time to herself,” she said.

Hazel Amos stretches with trainer Shannon Whieldon.
Hazel Amos stretches with trainer Shannon Whieldon.

Samantha Anderson

“It was a gift from heaven,” said Whieldon. “Grandma Hazel would sit with Brendan in the hospital and I could take a half an hour to have a break, get some exercise, get some fresh air, have a shower. He just felt so safe with her.”

Brendan, his mother and “Grandma Hazel” started fundraising for children battling cancer the same year he was diagnosed. Whieldon also became a board member with the Childhood Cancer Family Support Society (formerly the British Columbia Childhood Cancer Parents Association).

Brendan underwent eight years of chemotherapy, and then three years of leg surgery. Today, at 20, he continues to participate in fundraising activities such as the Inside Ride, which Whieldon and her fellow board directors Dave and Suzanne Dunbar organize.

All the money that is raised will be given directly to families whose children are being treated for cancer. Families are referred to the Childhood Cancer Family Support Society by social workers at B.C. Children’s Hospital, teachers or health professionals, and the society then awards small cash grants, no questions asked.

This year, the fundraising goal is $50,000.

The Inside Ride will take place on Friday, Oct. 26 at Cloverdale Recreation Centre from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, including how to donate or participate, visit ccfssurrey.insideride.com.

For more on this story, including a video, visit cloverdalereporter.com.

Just Posted

Kent, Harrison prepared for snow

Municipalities ready snow clearing strategies heading into colder months

Chilliwack school kids draw ‘don’t drink and drive’ messages on liquor store bags

Children from six elementary schools decorate bags as part of promotion created by local Mountie

Strong winds to hit B.C.’s south coast

Western regions may see winds of up to 80 km/hr

Duo robs Harrison Hot Springs gas station

Husky manager planning to tighten security

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Caretaker jailed, must pay back money after stealing $260K from elderly B.C. couple

Antonette Dizon, now 50, had been hired to provide extra care for Henry and Helen Abfalter

Alleged serial bank robber facing charges after Vancouver arrest

Darwin McGrath, 50, was arrested by plain-clothes police officers

Retailers feel the squeeze of their generous return policies

Technology data tracking can clamp down on fraudulent abuse

Canadians to get low-cost data-only mobile phone plans within 90 days: CRTC

Bell, Rogers and Telus will provide plans as cheap as 250MB for $15

5 to start your day

B.C.’s top cop says Surrey needs more Mounties, nublication ban lifted on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school stabbing and more

Police have ‘viable suspects’ in B.C. gangster’s 2017 murder

Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg was successful in asking a judge to extend the length of time police can hold onto exhibits seized in connection with the homicide.

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Vancouver Island

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Four per cent of Canadian women report being sexually harassed in the workplace

One per cent of men report being sexually harassed in the workplace

Most Read