Going the Distance for Dad

It has been nearly two years since our father (John) was diagnosed with an motor neuron disease that causes nerves within the brain to slowly break down. This makes the nerves unable to activate the motor neurons in the spinal cord, which control muscles. Unfortunately, the disease has progressed quite quickly. Last fall, dad was still walking. Now he has lost most of his mobility, including the ability to walk and stand, and this has affected his overall quality of life. It is an awful disease to watch a loved one go through.

We (Sarah and Amy, John’s daughters) have developed this 30-day fundraising challenge to celebrate our father’s life and raise money for three charitable organisations that have been valuable sources of support: the ALS Society of BC, the Sunshine Coast Hospice Society, and Dying With Dignity Canada

What we are doing: Arising from a feeling of powerlessness in watching our dad go through the daily struggles of this disease and wanting to celebrate and honour him, we are pledging to walk, run, or hike 5km per day for the month of June 2021. This amounts to 150km each or 300km in total between us! Due to our parenting and work responsibilities, this will be a challenge, yet we feel it’s a meaningful way to celebrate our father through the mobility we so take for granted. In addition, June is ALS Awareness Month and Wednesday, 2 June 2021 is Lou Gehrig Day.

What we are asking of you: Please support us in this 30-day fundraising challenge! Any amount you can donate is greatly appreciated. If you’re not able to make a financial contribution, please share this fundraising challenge with others who may be able to support us, and/or join us virtually on a 5km walk, run, or hike! You may also wish to learn more about the organisations that we’re supporting and which have been so helpful and important to our father. Our goal is to raise $3,000 ($1,000 for each of the three charities to which we could never repay for their kindness, love, and support).

About our father: John is a loving partner to our mother, Lynn, a kind and caring father, a devoted and mischievous grandfather to three young grandsons, and a beloved brother, uncle, and friend. He is a retired mill worker who loves birdwatching, local history, photography, family genealogy, watching golf and sports in general, and his daily cup of coffee. Before us kids, he loved boating and being on the water. John is a lifelong learner who enjoys Elder College courses and watching documentaries about different parts of the world. Our dad has taught us so much about kindness, selflessness, caring for others, and gentleness. We love him dearly.

To support this incredible initiative: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/going-the-distance-for-dad/