PLATTSBURGH — When Ian Bellerive was just 13, he heard about Skate4Cancer and was inspired by the organization’s message of hope and awareness.
Now 18, the Plattsburgh High School senior is putting his inspiration into action and pushing himself to prove there is power in numbers and local support for cancer education and research.
After losing two grandparents to the disease, Bellerive knows firsthand how devastating the diagnosis can be for patients and their loved ones.
“It seems like everyone I know is somehow affected by it,” he said. “Everyone knows someone with cancer.”
So when Bellerive had to come up with a project for the National Honor Society, he knew what he wanted to do and that he wanted to make a lasting impression locally.
“I wanted to do something meaningful, and I wanted to do something personal,” he said.
“I knew I had to do something big and get people involved.”
That’s why this Sunday, Bellerive will head for U.S. Oval in Plattsburgh, where he will skateboard 50 miles for cancer awareness and to fundraise for a cure.
Bellerive got the idea from Skate4Cancer founder Rob Dyer, who has skateboarded more than 25,000 kilometers across the world since 2004 to unite people in cancer awareness and education.
The local teen met Dyer at the Vans Warped Tour in Montreal in 2012 and was moved into action last summer, when he decided to skateboard 1,000 miles around the U.S. Oval with that same aim.
But, he said, “at the end of the long journey, not many people knew what I was doing skateboarding a big city circle all day. Because I saw this as a failure, I am committed to re-skating it this summer.”
Kicking off his second 1,000-mile skate this Sunday is Ride to Raise, a public fundraiser and promotional awareness event.