Josling to honour father with third Ride to Conquer Cancer - May 18, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Blyth firefighter Jeff Josling is again participating in this year’s Ride to Conquer Cancer – his resolve now stronger than ever after the death of his father.
Josling’s father Paul passed away earlier this year after a lengthy battle with cancer. Josling served for decades on the Blyth Fire Department and the Fire Department of North Huron, many of them as chief, before retiring several years ago.
While Jeff had already signed on for the 2017 ride literally at the finish line of the 2016 ride, this year’s event means so much more to him now with all that has transpired. Jeff says he plans on riding this year as a tribute to his dad, but he hasn’t always thought that way.
Jeff admits that after his father’s death, he considered not doing the ride, but those feelings were quickly replaced with a desire to honour his father with the ride and make him proud.
Josling is riding with fellow firefighter and member of last year’s Fire Riders team, Kelsy Long, as well as Shanann Josling, who has been a member of the team since its inception three years ago.
When talking about this year’s ride, Jeff says it was a story in The Citizen last year which he returned to that strengthened his will to complete the ride again.
Although Jeff knew his father was proud of him, when he read a story in The Citizen about the ride and read his father’s quotes, the reality of the situation really hit home for him.
Jeff read that his father was proud of the team and that it felt great to be in Niagara Falls at the finish line to cheer them on. Paul also said that he hoped he’d be well enough to be at the finish line in 2017 to do the same.
After reading that, Jeff said, the reality of his father’s condition really hit home. He realized it was possible, he said, that his father might not be at the finish line.
“For me, I never thought he wouldn’t be there,” Jeff said.
With Josling passing away earlier this year, he won’t be at the finish line this year to cheer the team on, but Jeff knows how important it is to do the ride for his father and that he’ll be there in the hearts of his loved ones.
The ride is set for the weekend of June 9-11. The team will begin the ride in the south end of Toronto and travel to Niagara Falls over the course of the weekend, stopping to rest on Saturday night in Hamilton.
The team is hosting a fundraising barbecue on Sunday, May 28 in the parking lot in front of Scrimgeour’s Food Market in Blyth to help raise funds for the ride. The barbecue will run from 12-2 p.m. and the draw for the team’s annual Beer for a Year ticket fundraiser will take place at 2 p.m. Tickets are currently available from any team member or at a number of businesses throughout Blyth.
For more information on the ride, or to donate to the team, visit the ride’s website at conquercancer.ca and search the “Fire Riders” team.