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  Police Officer Cycles Across Canada for Autism

Jul 08, 2003 05:46 ET

Sergeant John Keating of the Durham Regional Police Service has just begun the first leg of a 7,300 kilometre bicycle trek across Canada to raise money for autism research.

The 38-year-old Sergeant with the DRP Courts Unit and father of 10-year-old Kurtis, who was diagnosed with autism eight years ago, will be pedalling from Vancouver, BC to Halifax, NS in the company of Luc Vandermeeren, the father of an autistic girl named Sara. Both men hope to raise $1 million for research into autism.

John and Luc will be stopping in communities along the way to participate in fundraising events. They are scheduled to reach Durham Region on Saturday, August 9th and are inviting residents to show their support by joining them in a ride from the Oshawa Civic Auditorium to Lakeview Park (approximately 8 kilometres). Food, refreshments and entertainment will be provided at the park for all participants.

John and Luc expect to cycle through the finish line in Halifax on August 23rd.

Cycling for autism is not new to John. Two years ago, Sergeant Keating cycled 10,700 kilometres across the U.S.A. to raise awareness and funds for autism research. John was awarded the Golden Jubilee Medal of Queen Elizabeth II for his tireless efforts to fund research into a cure for this serious disorder.

When asked about the difficult trek, Sergeant Keating states, ā€œIā€™m just a dad who wants to do all I can for my son and all those who are challenged with this devastating disorder.ā€

ASD is a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain. People with ASD have serious problems with communication, social interaction and behaviour, making it difficult for them to understand and participate in the world around them. Autism is usually diagnosed within the first three years of life and it lasts a lifetime. The causes are still unknown and there is no known cure.

For more information on Sergeant John Keating, Luc Vandermeeren and autism, visit Cycle For Autism at www.cycleforautism.com

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