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Rudy Pospisil, left, crosses the Lions Gate bridge in Vancouver with supporters.

The gift: Raising $20,000 and climbing

The cause: The Canadian Cancer Society

The reason: To fund research into lung, prostate and breast cancer

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When Rudy Pospisil was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000, doctors feared the cancer had spread throughout his body.

"I was loaded with the disease," recalled Mr. Pospisil, who is a firefighter captain in Burnaby, B.C. "I was told to get my affairs in order."

Thanks to surgery and treatment, the cancer went into remission and Mr. Pospisil has regained his health, although he is tested every six months.

In 2009, he decided to embark on a cycling trip to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. He started by biking from Vancouver to Mexico, doing the trip in chunks during his annual vacation. He decided to keep going, across the United States, Europe and now Asia.

His goal is to bike around the world and raise $100,000. So far, he has covered 15,000 kilometres over 12 countries and raised $20,000.

He's often accompanied by police officers and firefighters as he passes through a city, and he stops frequently to tell his story.

"I inspire people by cycling through and showing them my determination and dedication," he said.

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Mr. Pospisil is just over halfway through his journey; the next leg will begin in Australia in the fall.

"To be honest, cycling the world is tough emotionally and physically, but nothing is tougher than dealing with a diagnosis of cancer."

pwaldie@globeandmail.com

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