Our BMO Ride team is truly honoured to work with patients like Stephen Beamish and his family. Sharing his story and fundraising efforts was incredibly important to him, even in his final days. We wrote this article featuring Stephen and his loved ones prior to his passing on September 18. With their permission, we share it now.


According to Stephen Beamish, his love for cycling and helping others has come full circle with BMO Ride for Cancer.

“I got into cycling many years ago to support my daughter, Megan, when she was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes,” says Stephen.  “Cycling quickly became a way for us to fundraise for research and treatment, in hopes of helping other families like ours.”

His daughter, Megan, says that from the moment her father bought his first road bike from Andrew Feenstra at Cyclesmith, the rest was history.

“He’s participated in countless rides for multiple charities and Gran Fondos, all over the Maritimes – even organizing his own fundraiser, cycling PEI from tip-to-tip,” says Megan. “So when Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in June 2021, we were shocked. Not just because of the scary diagnosis and treatment to follow, but because Dad was in such great health.”

Stephen explains that after a decade-and-a-half of cycling for others, his own cancer diagnosis meant others were now cycling for him.

When our BMO Ride team first chats with Stephen it’s via phone and from the QEII palliative care unit where he’s receiving care. He’s had some recent and significant setbacks in his journey, but he’s adamant on sharing his story to inspire some good.

“It’s now about raising funds and awareness for future cancer patients. The technology we’re funding won’t impact my own care experience, but it will help others’…that’s why I’m sharing my story.” –  says Stephen.

Stephen registered for BMO Ride for Cancer earlier this year, following six rounds of chemotherapy treatment at the QEII Health Sciences Centre.

“My last treatment wrapped right before Christmas 2021 and before too long I was feeling really good,” says Stephen. “I jumped on the chance to join the 2022 BMO Ride as it was obviously quite personal to myself and my family.”

An avid and daily cyclist, he signed up to ride 100km. No stranger to fundraising, donations to support Stephen’s ride began pouring in from loved ones, colleagues and friends from coast-to-coast.

The overwhelming support he received was not a surprise to daughter, Abby Beamish.

“Dad just has a way of inspiring others to step up and get involved,” says Abby. “When we were kids, it didn’t matter if he was fundraising for national diabetes research or collecting donations for our track teams or my dance fundraisers, he was always giving back and always giving it his all.”

In August 2022, Stephen explains that his cancer recovery shifted; without warning and in an instant.

“Six weeks ago, I was able to bike and hike and go out with my daughters and my dog,” says Stephen. “I had every intention of riding on October 1, but cancer has a way of disrupting our best laid plans.”

Stephen and his family have experienced an incredibly challenging few weeks, filled with long days and nights in hospital and uncertainty with what the future holds.

In spite of this, his daughters and brother, Mike, speak of Stephen’s unwavering determination – and, in some cases, his stubbornness – when it comes to his fight and finding ways to turn the bad into some good.

“Until now, there were quite a few folks who were unaware that he was diagnosed with cancer, let alone the severity,” says Megan. “He has done almost all of his [BMO Ride] fundraising from the hospital, even through the hard days.”

Abby softly laughs as she recalls her Dad prioritizing updates to his personal fundraising page from his hospital room.

“Honestly, I don’t think we expected any less of him,” says Abby. “He’s never idle and he never stops, especially when it comes to his family and helping others.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by Stephen’s older brother, Mike.

“Where he was the youngest, he was supposed to look up to me – but I can assure you it was always the other way around,” says Mike. “He has an ability to just inspire and rally people to support whatever cause he’s standing behind.  I’m so honoured to call him my brother.”

According to Mike, though Stephen’s fundraising efforts for the past 14 years have been a highlight  – impacting many charitable causes, including BMO Ride for Cancer – Stephen’s greatest pride comes from being a father and husband.

It’s evident in the stories shared by both Abby and Megan.

“When my sister and I began karate lessons, Dad joined too. He eventually even overtook us in belt level and helped teach the class,” says Megan. “For track and field, he drove us to any practice he could and eventually learned how to officiate the competitions.”

As Abby pointedly explains, “family is just always his number one priority.”

She says her Dad has taught them to always live life fully, use your passion to help others, and to leave the world on empty.

“Dad has put every single ounce of himself into this fight to be here for us,” says Megan. “What we really want is for Dad’s story and the funds raised to bring more and better technology to allow for earlier diagnosis and treatment.”

The Beamish family says donating to Stephen’s Ride is one way folks can support them, while honouring Stephen’s mission to give back – ultimately helping him impact as many patients and families as possible.

“We’re so proud of all he’s done through the Ride,” says Mike. “It’s so important to him to keep that work going.”

To donate to Stephen’s Ride, click here.