Darren Pedersen will raise cash to buy equipment for St. Paul's Hospital colorectal surgery unit in Vancouver this weekend in the Diamond Rally. Manufacturers and owners have entered 99 of the world's most exclusive rides in the rally from Vancouver to Vernon

Darren Pedersen will raise cash to buy equipment for St. Paul's Hospital colorectal surgery unit in Vancouver this weekend in the Diamond Rally. Manufacturers and owners have entered 99 of the world's most exclusive rides in the rally from Vancouver to Vernon

Car rally supports charitable cause

NANAIMO – Nanaimo siblings raising donations for luxury car rally fundraiser.

Those who’ve got it are flaunting it for a worthy cause this weekend.

Darren Pedersen, of Nanaimo, will participate in the 2015 Diamond Rally from Vancouver to Whistler this Saturday (May 30).

It takes an Aston Martin, Ferrari or at least a Cadillac CTS-V to roll up to the starting line of this invitation-only event, started in 2013.

“It’s the first time in history in North America that they’ll have 20 McLarens in one spot at one time,” Pedersen said.

The cars’ owners raise donations that directly support their favourite charities.

Pedersen, in a 2012 Porsche 911 GTS, will join 98 other motorists heading to Whistler.

“Here’s an opportunity for them to enjoy their cars, blast their passion or the thing that they want to support on their car and give them an opportunity to share that story and promote their own charities as well,” Pedersen said. “It’s incredibly powerful.”

Last year he raised $26,000 to win the rally’s charity fundraiser cup.

Pedersen, 44, is raising cash to buy equipment for the colorectal surgery group at Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital. He was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2013 and survived through two major surgeries to remove a section of his large intestine, plus months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Pedersen lost his father to cancer and just six months prior to Pedersen’s diagnosis, doctors discovered that his sister, Kelly Schmidt, 33, had brain cancer. She underwent her first surgery in 2013 and a second surgery in January.

Dealing with their illnesses, they’ve discovered there’s lots of information about cancer available, but little to actually help cancer patients fight the disease.

“The biggest challenge for me was food,” Pedersen said. “What can I eat?”

Pedersen and Schmidt started the Cancer Store to advise other cancer patients about everything from nutrition to tips on preparing for surgery.

“It’s an opportunity to share our story, tell people about the things that we did that were helpful and what was a waste of money,” Pedersen said.

For more information, please visit http://diamondrally.com or www.thecancerstore.ca.

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