Femme Fondo: connecting and supporting women interested in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer

Femme Fondo is an Alberta Cancer Foundation led initiative that aims to connect and support womxn participating or interested in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. Jordyn Semeniuk, Major Gifts Officer at the Alberta Cancer Foundation, began the Femme Fondo initiative after she signed up for her very first Ride. 

“I started working for the Alberta Cancer Foundation last year, and the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer was the first event I attended. I was inspired by the community, and the excitement of The Ride, that I signed up on the spot to participate.

“Cancer has touched many people in my life, so I’ve decided to participate as a rider and fundraiser. I will be riding in memory of some amazing friends and grandmas, to honour friends who have recently undergone treatment at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, dear friends who are in remission, and all of the patients at the Women’s Health Centre in Calgary, where I was a patient for five years.

“I was very excited to participate in The Ride, but I was also nervous and intimidated to get started. “What do I look for in a bike, how do I build confidence on the road, where do I begin with training?” As I started to talk to women on corporate teams and in the community, it was clear that many of them shared my feelings,” she says. 

“We created Femme Fondo to connect and support women interested in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. ⁠Femme Fondo brings together like-minded women through organized social, exercise and training events, and aims to inspire confidence and provide them with networking opportunities and resources to break down specific barriers to participate.”

At the start of the year, Femme Fondo held a private spin class at one of Calgary’s top boutique spin studios, YYC Cycle Spin Studio. After this, Femme Fondo members had the opportunity to enjoy a few refreshments, learn more about The Ride and connect with other community-minded women.

Femme Fondo Kick-Off event in February at YYC Cycle Spin Studio in Calgary. Spin class led by Emily Cheffins & refreshments provided by Raw by Robyn.

 

In March, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep the community safe, Femme Fondo postponed in-person events and transitioned to virtual activities such as live-streamed fitness and meditation sessions. Today, Femme Fondo conducts outdoor fitness classes (that followed Alberta Health Service protocols) in the park – with proceeds going towards Albertans facing Cancer.

It was later announced that the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer will be going virtual (with a virtual rally taking place on August 29, 2020), meaning participants can ride anywhere, anytime, and for any distance. 

Several members of Femme Fondo will be participating in the virtual Ride in their own way. Jordyn will be taking part in a socially-distanced ride in the mountains with some close friends and family.

Despite having to shift gears and adjust to the changes brought down by the pandemic, Jordyn is thrilled to have started the Femme Fondo initiative and cant wait to see how it evolves. 

“I’ve met some amazing women through our group. The community we’ve built is incredible, generous, supportive, and so much fun! it was inspiring to see our group stay connected in a digital space under these challenging circumstances.”

Interested in learning more about Femme Fondo? Reach out to Jordyn at Jordyn.Semeniuk@albertacancer.ca to learn more. You can also join the Femme Fondo Facebook group to connect with other members and get updates on virtual and outdoor classes.

Click here if you would like to support Jordyn’s fundraiser for the Ride.

Since 2009, the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer has raised over $80.9 million for the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Funds raised through The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer enable the Alberta Cancer Foundation to support breakthrough cancer research, clinical trials, enhanced care and the discovery of new cancer therapies at the 17 cancer centres across Alberta, including the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary and Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton.