Rob Dyer Is A Hero

Pic of Rob Dyer Skate For Cancer By: Sheena Lyonnais
July 31, 2007

By dictionary definition, Rob Dyer is a hero.  The small, tattooed skater would probably laugh at this statement; shyly send his appreciations for the sentiment then move on to a different topic.  But according to the Oxford English dictionary, Dyer is just that: “a person, typically a man, who is admired for their courage or outstanding achievements.” 
Standing behind the Skate4Cancer tent at Wakestock, located just beside the Underground Operations/S4C stage, Dyer took a moment to reflect on some of this accomplishments.

“Five years ago at Wakestock, we didn’t have any part in Wakestock at all.  We were just handing out little flyers and it’s come to now we’re a sponsor of Wakestock and they’re putting on a show for us as an after party with the Deftones.  We’ve come so far and I’m so honoured and lucky to have people who supported it and brought it there and gave it this opportunity.

“Last night we did that [after] show with Deftones and sometimes I walk away and step back and I’m like wow, that’s really crazy.  It’s a crazy good thing, but it’s crazy in the fact this stuff is happening from where it started,” he said.

Most people familiar with Dyer are also familiar with his story.  At 15 he thought of a plan to fight the cancer war by skateboarding across North America to raise money for Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital.  His idea was seen as overtly ambitious and thus left alone for a while.

But two years later Dyer’s mother was losing her battle to cancer and Dyer’s dream was rekindled.  This time it was met with much support and he was able to organize a team of volunteers and fundraising to aid him on his 8000km trek across North America. 

Four months before he left, his mother, both of his grandmothers and a close friend all died of cancer.  As tragic as it was, it reaffirmed for Dyer why he had to do this and skate4cancer was officially born. Since then, Dyer and his team have successfully completed several skates, having recently begun one across the United States as part of the Vans Warped Tour.  At the end of the summer, S4C will be heading overseas for the first time to Australia and possibly Europe in the fall.

“On our first skate we had more reception from Australia than we did from the U.S.  The people in Australia are so, like, they get into things and they get into certain bands by just hearing about them when there’s no promotion on them.  They are just a really tight knit community and I guess that may be why,” Dyer said.

As S4C continues to grow, Dyer is also working on several other projects.  Most recently he has launched Believe, a clothing line that will also distribute music and manage bands they believe in.  Although they have some bands in mind, no official announcements have been made.

“It’s just something for me to do on the side to kind of get a different sort of artistic wave out there.  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but I want to do it totally separate from Skate4Cancer and not have the two interfere with each other,” he said.

Dyer is also working as a server when he is not touring with S4C, DJing at numerous events both pertaining to S4C as well as separate ones, and rekindling his position as bassist and “somewhat singer” in a band.

“It’s kind of nice to be at a certain point in my life where I can try these things and they don’t necessarily have to be anything or become anything,” he said.

But S4C is different.  It is the one thing he continues to invest the majority of his time into through raising awareness.  His team sponsors numerous events and free shows designed to open up people’s eyes rather than collect donations.  They also sell S4C t-shirts at cost on their website and at shows. 

“We’re not going to raise millions of dollars targeting kids, because they don’t have money.  But they do have a mind and they do have a heart and those both are going to grow as they grow, and hopefully by giving them this at a young age, by the time they get older they’ll be able to do something about it when they’re in a position of power,” Dyer said.

Skate4Cancer is back on the Vans Warped Tour until the end of summer.  It’s an incredibly busy schedule, but one the 23-year-old couldn’t be happier about.

“I get to travel with something that I care about more than anything in the world, so I’m a pretty lucky human,” he said.  

More info about Rob Dyer and Skate4Cancer can be found at:

http://www.skate4cancer.com

www.myspace.com/skate4cancer

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