VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Thousands of cyclists are riding to Seattle this weekend as part of the Ride To Conquer Cancer.

The fourth annual event pushes cyclists to cover 200 kilometres in two days to raise money for the BC Cancer Foundation.

“Many, many teams have come together. For the 3000 participants, there is least one cancer story that each one of them can tell. It really is moving to see how people are remembering those that they’ve lost to cancer,” explains Doug Nelson, President and CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation.

Nelson is also extremely please with all the funds raised this year.

“This is the fourth year of the event and we raise more [money] every year. This year is no different. We raised $11.2 million for cancer research and enhancement to care here in British Columbia,” he says.

Andy Smith, who built the latest Batmobile for the Dark Night series, was diagnosed with cancer three and half years ago. He’s taking part in his first ride.

“I consider myself lucky to have gotten ill here. The cancer agency, it’s a wonderful facility,” notes Smith. “Here I’m out the other side and I’m trying put a bit back, give a bit back to the people that have given me so much.”

He expects this weekend to be both physically and emotionally difficult.

“One chap that I went to treatment with, he unfortunately didn’t make. You think, ‘Why me when poor John didn’t make it?’ You do think it’s a ruthless disease and it doesn’t care who it take.”

An estimated two out of five Canadians are expected to develop cancer during their lifetime.

All funds raised go toward research, treatment and care here in BC.