Finding Inspiration in Loss: A Community Cycles in Support of Women’s Healthcare

January 2022 was a time of great sadness for Tierney Courage and Andrew Bradbury – but it was also a time of gratitude for the blessings in their lives.

Left to right: Andrew Bradbury and Tierney Courage, event organizers, and Donovan Pollitt, the event’s top individual fundraiser

January 2022 was a time of great sadness for Tierney Courage and Andrew Bradbury – but it was also a time of gratitude for the blessings in their lives.

As they grieved the loss of their first baby and the end of a pregnancy, Tierney and Andrew relied on their network of family and friends to support them through this difficult experience. They were also deeply moved by the unwavering support of their care team at Women’s College Hospital (WCH).

We were inspired by the degree of empathy and compassion we received throughout our care at the Bay Centre,” says Tierney. “We were privileged to have had access to such excellent healthcare. We spent a lot of time in the months since discussing how we could give back to WCH in some way.”

The couple decided to hold a fundraiser in support of WCH that brought together Andrew’s professional network and their love of cycling. They organized an event called Metals & Mountains, which had cyclists riding a 45-kilometre or 90-kilometre route through the beautiful Blue Mountains countryside, which is about 150 kilometres north of Toronto.

Andrew – who works with Orla Mining Ltd., a Toronto-based gold mining company – garnered the support of his organization to fundraise for the event. This gave rise to the name Metals & Mountains.

“We decided to engage our friends in the mining industry, which tends to be male-dominated, to support this cause. It’s important for everyone – both men and women – to support women’s health and access to women’s healthcare services,” says Andrew. “The mining industry engages so much with our local communities in the countries where we operate, and it is also important to bring focus on the needs that exist in Canada.”

Tierney and Andrew decided to pull together the inaugural ride in late August and the event was held on October 16, 2022. They describe the day as a beautiful experience in more ways than one. The vibrant colours of autumn provided a stunning backdrop for the cyclists, and strangers became friends who bonded over their shared commitment to women’s healthcare. A number of participants had their own personal connections to WCH and they participated in the event as a way of giving back.

Metals & Mountains was a remarkable success, raising more than $26,000 in support of patient care at WCH.

“It was powerful to see the community come together for this cause, and to hear stories from the participants about what motivated them to ride and raise funds, there are populations of women who don’t have access to the healthcare services they need, and it’s important to support the work being done by Women’s College Hospital to improve that access”

Tierney Courage

For Tierney and Andrew, Metals & Mountains 2022 was just the beginning.

“We’re extremely thankful to all the people who came out and participated in the event,” says Andrew. “We’d like to see Metals & Mountains become an annual event, and we’re looking forward to making it even bigger and better.”

You can take action by raising urgently-needed funds to help Women’s College Hospital advance the health of women and their families. Learn more here!