Community Papers

FACE TO FACE: A ride to remember

Stir Coffee House owner Robert Lowe is taking part in the annual 200km Ride to Conquer Cancer this weekend in honour of the sister he never knew, who passed away from leukemia at the age of eight.  - Robert Mangelsdorf
Stir Coffee House owner Robert Lowe is taking part in the annual 200km Ride to Conquer Cancer this weekend in honour of the sister he never knew, who passed away from leukemia at the age of eight.
— image credit: Robert Mangelsdorf

When Robert Lowe, owner of Stir Coffee House in Ladner Village, takes part in the fifth annual Ride to Conquer Cancer this weekend, he’ll be spurred on along the 200-km bike ride to Seattle by the memory of the sister he never knew.

Donna was just eight years old when she succumbed to leukemia. Lowe never got to meet his big sis, but her presence was always close by.

“I would hear about her all the time [when I was] growing up, so I knew a lot about her, but I never got to know her,” he says. “It’s in her memory that we’re doing this.”

Lowe and his older brother have taken part in the cancer fundraiser every year since it was founded in 2009.

Thousands are expected to make the 200-km bike trip south, which has helped to raise close to $40 million for cancer research in the past five years.

An estimated two out of five Canadians are expected to develop cancer during their lifetime, and like so many participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, Lowe’s family has been touched by cancer more than once.

Lowe’s father passed away in 2007 after surviving an earlier battle with cancer. Lowe thinks his father would have appreciated what he and his brother are doing.

“He wasn’t around to see us ride,” says Lowe. “Mom’s just happy we’re getting some exercise.”

Lowe says this year he’s been busy getting his business up and running, so he hasn’t had nearly as much time to train.

With voting for the South Delta Leader’s Best of South Delta contest on now, Lowe says his vote for the best place for a bike ride are the country roads of West Ladner.

“English Bluff is also a good ride,” he says. “The hills are challenging.”

When it comes to the best cup of coffee in South Delta, Lowe believes Stir Coffee House’s unique single cup “pour-over” brewing method, and their commitment to quality products and preparation put them ahead of the pack.

The coffee comes in handy when he’s looking for that extra boost of energy when he’s riding.

“I’m going to need all the help I can get this year,” says Lowe.

To donate to the Ride to Conquer Cancer, visit http://www.conquercancer.ca/goto/robertlowe2013

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