A ride for the Roc

Published 10:25 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A cancer diagnosis is a terrifying thing for anyone to face. For families whose children are the victims of this terrible disease, it’s even more frightening.

The Roc Solid Foundation is located in Chesapeake, but it works throughout the southeastern part of the nation, including with some Suffolk families, to, in the words of its mission statement, “build hope for children battling cancer and their families by offering them Roc Solid opportunities to engage in the simple joys of childhood despite their conditions.”

The nonprofit organization provides Roc Solid Ready Bags to parents who have recently learned that their children have cancer. The bags include everything the family might need during an unexpected hospital stay, including a blanket, toiletries, pens, journals, coloring books, a preloaded debit card, quarters for the vending machines and an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet.

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Volunteers working for Roc Solid also reach out to families to help with other needs, whether that means doing yard work, chores around the house or just giving harried parents a day out.

But the organization’s flagship program, Play It Forward, might be its best known. Through that program, volunteers build custom wooden playsets — more than 100 so far — for younger children and provide individualized, remodeled bedrooms for teens and those who live in places where playsets cannot be built.

Roc Solid does wonderful things to support kids with cancer and for their families, and a group of local men, including Allfirst LLC vice president and director of operations James Templeton, decided recently to see what they could do to support the organization.

Roc the Ride was the result of their planning. The two-day bicycle ride from Richmond to Norfolk last week raised more than $27,000 for the nonprofit organization.

Next year, the foundation plans to start its next Roc the Ride in Pittsburgh and conclude in Norfolk. Additionally, the ride hopes to accommodate more bikers, according to Templeton.

If you’d like to help support Roc Solid’s efforts to ease the suffering of pediatric cancer victims and their families, visit www.rocsolidfoundation.org.