VANCOUVER, Sept. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - For some, it's personal; maybe they or a loved one has or has had cancer. For others, it's a powerful way to support children living with cancer. After they dip their rear wheels in the Pacific and depart White Rock, BC on September 5, 27 cyclists will make their way across Canada, to raise awareness and funds for the fight against childhood cancer. The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride (SNKCR) is the world's longest charitable cycling event on behalf of childhood cancer. When the cyclists arrive in Halifax on September 21 for the ceremonial front wheel dip in the Atlantic, they will have covered over 7,000 km. These 27 national riders, who will traverse the country in a relay-style ride, will be joined along the way by thousands of other community cyclists who will ride shorter distances, all united in the goal to improve the quality of life for children and their families living with and beyond cancer. "Everyone has their own reason for participating," said Calvin McDonald, President & CEO, Sears Canada. "Whether riding, volunteering, donating, or, as in Sears case, sponsoring the ride, the reason for participating is personal, but the goal is the same: helping kids living with cancer and their families, raising funds for research to increase the survival rate in the future. "Through the involvement of our customers, associates and the vast network of Sears locations across Canada, we are proud to raise awareness and funds for the necessary research, treatment and support for children and their families." The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride will fund programs that improve the lives of children living with cancer as well as those recovering from the physical and emotional scars that can be part of survivorship. Over $4.5 million has been raised since 2008, and money raised this year will again be used to fund both national and provincial pediatric hematology and oncology research programs. "Money raised is critical in helping fund programs that can improve the survival rates and the quality of life for children fighting this horrible disease," said Jeff Rushton, Co-Founder and passionate volunteer of Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation (CTCACF), a volunteer-based registered Canadian charitable foundation focused on improving health outcomes and quality of life of children and families impacted by cancer. The Foundation develops and conducts events like the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride in communities across Canada. "With each kilometer pedaled, collectively we will enrich the quality of life of Canadian children burdened by this devastating disease. Every donation helps another child to just be able to be a kid." Cancer is the leading cause of non-accidental death in children in Canada. Each year, about 1,400 children are diagnosed with cancer. More children die of cancer each year than asthma, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and congenital anomalies combined. Childhood cancer is very different from adult cancer and places its own unique demands on our healthcare system. For more information, to register as a rider or a volunteer, or to make a donation, visit www.SearsNationalKidsCancerRide.com or call 1.866.381.4446. The Sears Canada Charitable Foundation is a registered Canadian charity that collects and distributes donations to charitable organizations that support Sears Canada's community investment mandate, which is focused on the healthy development of children and youth in areas of both health and education. The health component is centered on raising awareness and providing funds for research and treatment for the fight against childhood cancer. The education component is centered on after-school programs and initiatives, which enrich children's lives and allow them to reach their full potential as contributing members of society.