On May 1st, 2018 my family and I started walking from my parents’ doorstep in Grande Prairie, AB, heading towards Tignish, PEI, where my Dad was laid to rest beside my Grandparents.
We intend to arrive at the grave site on Aug 31, 2018, which would have been my Dad’s 72nd birthday.
We are walking for two reasons:
- To help raise awareness so that education and support for those affected by cancer can be improved
- To build an endowment fund that will continue contributing funds for years into the future
Why we are walking
October 5, 2015 my Dad got the dreaded news…
After not feeling well and trying antibiotics multiple times over the previous six months with no success, the results were in. “You have Stage 3 Lung cancer and it is in both lungs, which means that it is inoperable. There is not much that we can do. At best you have six to eight months to live. Do you have any questions?” These were the terrifying words that came out of the doctor’s mouth.
I decided to spend some time with Dad. I would drive the hour-and-a-half each way every Thursday to spend the afternoon with him. Some days we went out and drove around, some days he didn’t feel like leaving the house, so we stayed in and talked. I tried to help lift his spirits, but Dad had made up his mind and what he was told by the doctors was what he took internally and believed to the core. He had given up fighting and it literally killed him. There was no sense trying to discuss alternative therapies or any other treatments. “What’s the point; I’ll still be dead in six months,” was his response. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Dad’s view had an incredible impact on me.
Watching first-hand while someone I thought was invincible, withered away to literally nothing was totally heartbreaking. I still vividly remember kneeling by Dad’s bed and holding his hand as he slowly took his last breath and made the transition to the other side. It has changed me internally in such a huge way and also given me a few things. One is a new outlook on life, in that I realize in that life is WAY too short. The second was a new conviction that I would never allow others to dictate what I do or influence what I can accomplish in my life.
This experience also gave me a new mission and purpose in life–to stand up and do what I can towards eliminating this nasty disease.
My amazing family—my mother, my wife and my three young children—share my goal and are walking with me on this incredible journey. Our fundraising is gaining momentum as our trek continues to move East and awareness grows.
This is shaping up to be a great teaching opportunity for our children on the point that anything is possible. You can literally do anything you set your mind to.
We are hoping to raise enough funds that we can continue to make a difference after we finish our walk. Our dream is to raise 100 million dollars before we get back home.
In short, we are walking to inspire people to pitch in and help make a difference. Someone you know has been or will be touched by Cancer in some way, shape, or form in their life. Let’s work together to put an end to this disease once and for all.
To thriving, not just surviving!