Ride the Rideau

On Saturday, September 8, Shawn Hoey is dedicating his Ride the Rideau to his mom, Inez

Join him in the cancer fundraiser

By Tracey Tong

Last April, Shawn Hoey’s mother was diagnosed with cancer.

One night soon after, Shawn, 34, was trying to take his mind off the sad news. He was flipping through the community newspaper when he found an ad for Ride the Rideau, a 100-kilometre bike tour from Ottawa to Merrickville in support of groundbreaking cancer research at The Ottawa Hospital.

“There was an invitation to action, and I decided that was what I was going to do,” he said. “I signed up, and told my mom about it. Being a protective mom, she was concerned that cycling 100 kilometres would be a little much, but she was proud that I was participating.”

Inez Hoey, left, lived to help people. She’s pictured with her mother, Bernice Mackinnon, her granddaughter, Nayeli, and her son, Shawn, who will Ride the Rideau in her memory on September 8.

Inez Hoey’s cancer had already metastasized into her bones, and doctors were unable to find the origin of the cancer. The recently retired 65-year-old mother of three and grandmother of six was given six months to live, but sadly, she passed away in May – only four weeks after the biopsy results confirmed that she had cancer.

On Saturday, September 8, Shawn is dedicating his Ride the Rideau to his mom.

“She was the inspiration for me getting involved in the Ride,” said Shawn. “She was always one to keep busy and help. She was very giving and thoughtful.”

Shawn said he and his mother were close, especially since she had started working with him at Global Pet Foods, the Ottawa business he owns with his wife, Karla Briones.

His mom was always thinking of others. “Even when she was in the hospital, she was concerned about taking up the bed for too long,” Shawn said.

Ride the Rideau – which started out as a way for Shawn to cope – has since become a family affair for the Hoeys. Shawn’s sisters, Stephanie and Colleen, their father, Tom, as well as some extended family members will all be volunteering on ride day.

“Mom had a way of inspiring in a quiet way,” said Shawn. “I’m just following her example. I’m living as she lived.”

In July, Shawn and Karla welcomed their second child, a baby girl they named Carmen Inez, in honour of his mother.

Join Shawn Hoey and his family in Ride the Rideau, Eastern Ontario’s most successful single-day cancer fundraiser, which has raised $2.7 million in just two years. To register to ride or sign up to volunteer, visit www.ridetherideau.ca.

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