Clicks for Cancer

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to thank everyone who participated in Clicks for Cancer and donated  in support of the 2017 Ride to Conquer Cancer. With your help, I raised $3,000 towards Team Cockburn. The team consisted of 21 riders and raised almost $60,000 to support the research done at the Princess Margaret Hospital. This year, 5042 riders raised $20.533 million dollars – a new record for the ride.

Attached is a photo of the team from Sunday morning wearing our Team Cockburn jerseys, argyle socks and orange pilons. After participating in the event the past few years we learned that it can be very difficult to find your team members when everyone wears the same thing and looks pretty much the same – Pilon + Zip Ties = problem solved – the Coneheads as we became known were a hit.

I’m going to attempt to raise just as much if not more money again for the 2018 ride, so if you or anyone you know needs photos…you know who to call!!
Thanks again,

In June 2018, I’ll be embarking on an epic 2-day 200km bike ride between Toronto and Niagara Falls with Team Cockburn to raise money for the Ride to Conquer Cancer (R2CC). I thought that it’d be great to use my camera to raise money for my team–since we each have to raise $2500–and you get to have some awesome pictures and a tax return!

Team Cockburn started participating in the R2CC in 2015. That year Don Cockburn (my father-in-law), for some crazy reason, decided that it would be a great way to give back to the community that has helped him through (quite literally) hundreds of treatments and procedures since his diagnosis in 2007. In 2015, 6 riders set out on their adventure, with two survivors on the team! It was also a great honour to have one of the PMH volunteers, Dee, who has been a friendly face for Don during his chemo visits. This first year of fundraising brought in around $30,000!


The first year Team Cockburn crossed the finish line!


In 2016, the team grew to 18 riders, with 4 survivors crossing the finish line! Unfortunately, Don was unable to participate this year due to his health, but giving the team even more motivation to work as hard as they could. This year, the team raised a grand total of $65,377!! We're just starting our fundraising efforts for the 2017 R2CC and hoping that we can raise even more funds.

Both my husband's and my own families have been hugely impacted by cancer over the years. Not only has my father-in-law had to deal with this disease, his father, sister, and brother have also had to fight this disease. My mother-in-law has been battling a rare and chronic form of the disease for over a decade. In my own family, both of my uncles have had to endure early diagnoses and treatments. It's devastating to see  our loved ones suffer from this disease, but it's amazing to know that through fundraising initiatives like the R2CC, better treatment options have given us many more years to enjoy our families than would have ever been possible before.

Queen's Convocation

Jess and Bob at her 2012 PhD Convocation from Queen's

If you don't already know, I am a Cancer Researcher by day and photographer by night. I studied thyroid cancer during my graduate career at Queen's University. My thesis specifically examined how cancer cells migrate through the body. Since 2012, I've been working on breast cancer at McMaster University, trying to predict breast cancer patients who are likely to respond to treatment and have a better outcome. Working in research labs has shown me how precious life is and how much more we need to learn about cancer. One of the reasons I love doing photography, is that I recognize how important it is to cherish the moments we have with families in times of good health.

focal adhesion

A cancer cell from Jess' thesis, not surprisingly she loved taking pictures of cells!

Both of my projects have been supported by public fundraising initiatives, including the Terry Fox Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society (don't worry, I fund raise for these guys too!). I know first hand how much money it takes to run a lab and how difficult it can be to find the funds to do so! For example, in order for me to do my post-doctoral fellowship, I've needed over $250,000 in funds over 4 years! You can imagine that a project with multiple team members and using cutting edge technologies can easily require a million dollars in funds.


Jess just about to submit her PhD thesis!!