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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Bicycle tragedy in Canada

Daniel Hurtubise had been living with juvenile diabetes (Type 1) since the age of 15. Daniel, 50, and his family had embarked on the Ride of a Lifetime, a cross-Canada fundraising bike trip to raise $500,000 for diabetes research and to show that diabetes doesn’t have to stop people from living an active lifestyle.

Daniel, friend Robert Carrier and two of Daniel's children, Alexandre and Sonia, began their trek June 14 from Vancouver’s Stanley Park. They had a goal of reaching St. John’s, Newfoundland, on Aug. 12.

Sadly, that won't happen. Daniel and Robert were killed Sunday when a passing car hit them, and both of the children were injured. The accident took place on a stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway near Virden, Manitoba.

Daniel, who lived in St. Bruno, Quebec, had survived four episodes of diabetic coma. Nevertheless, he was an avid athlete, a former competitive swimmer who took a sabbatical from his marketing job in Montreal for the fundraising project he dubbed Ride of a Lifetime.

"(Daniel) wanted to inspire young people, to show them that you could live a normal life even if you had diabetes," family friend Françoise Le Guillou told the Globe and Mail newspaper in Toronto.

Robert, who lived in Kelowna, British Columbia. was the retired CEO of a software company. He joined the journey because he also dreamed of cycling across Canada, according to the Montreal Gazette.

The family has asked people to keep Daniel's dream alive by making a contribution to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The Foundation and the Hurtubise family have issued statements, which you can read here.

The driver of the Honda Civic that struck the cyclists has not been charged yet, although an investigation continues, the newspapers reported.

You can leave your condolences at the Ride of a Lifetime site and read their accounts of the trip.

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