Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 270, Burnaby to White Rock, B.C.

Day 270, one of the earliest starts in a very long time.

but the fact it's going to be a great day offsets the fact I had to get up at 5 A.M.

Kayla and I had our first medal bearer meeting point at Open Road Honda in Burnaby (population 223,000).

They had an awesome set up for our meeting, Kayla and I felt like we were hosts on a T.V. show 
One of the final eight medal bearers groups I will be a part of.

Open Road Honda went all out to host the medal bearers and the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen relay.

and here comes Alan with the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen medal into our sponsor stop.
Alan and Ian both work for Open Road Honda, they were a big help in getting the vehicles ready for the start of the relay last August.

Now it is time for Julie to be one of 7,000 difference makers across Canada. Julie and her friend (who ran with the medal yesterday) came all the way from Port McNeill on the north end of Vancouver Island

the is the best job bus driving job you can have, everyone is always in such a good mood!

we have to keep rolling , the convoy is on our tail!
after the last medal bearer was dropped off at their insertion point it was time to head back east about 35 kilometres, to our second meeting point of day 270

at the Langley (population 104,000)  Events Centre.

Since the original man in motion world tour 25 years ago, there have been a lot of improvements for people with disabilities. This toilet was the first one I have seen that looked low enough to make it easier for people.

A very special day for me today. All staff are allowed to nominate one difference makers in their lives. My niece Erin, who works in the office nominated her sister Megan, and I nominated my brother and her dad, Skip. Skip works at the      Carnegie Community centre in the downtown Vancouver eastside. Megan does a lot of volunteer work, and is very active in her school.
16 medal bearers in total in this group.

Skip and Megan get to pass the medal to each other.

The family shot.

and Kayla's family was here, too! Her dad Dave was her difference maker.
The bus is full of Everall's!

It's show time!

Skip, Megan, and Erin walked together for the two segments, I had to keep going, we still had more medal bearers to get to their spots!

Okay, Ben, your turn now, the convoy will be here any minute! Here is a little bit about Ben:

Ben  in 72 years old who is a paraplegic and the first paraplegic to fly a plane. His flight instructor was informed to fail him because he is

in a wheelchair, however, he excelled all his flight tests that his instructor had to let him become a pilot. Ben never gave up on his dreams and

proved that anything is possible!

and here is Colin, with an "assistance dog", here is his story:

My family and I have been volunteering with Pacific Assistance Dog Society for 6 years. We started out as puppy sitters and quickly graduated

to breeder-caretakers, meaning we whelp litters in our home to become assistance dogs to help enable people. We have our first mother, Stella,

who is now retired and her daughter, Holly, who has just started her important work with her first litter in 2010. This is alot of work, but the

benefit of seeing these dogs change someone's life is extremely rewarding! It has also started a number of friendships, as we have followed

each pup born in our house from training to pairing with their "client" and keep in touch with those folks. It's amazing to hear the differences in

their lives, and the dogs too as they genuinely love their "jobs". I would love to be able to participate in Rick's relay. I have admired him for alot

of years, and not just for our share of a last name. Rick has opened alot of doors for people who would otherwise be ignored. As my wife would

like to participate but cannot due to Multiple Sclerosis, I would like to be able to walk/run in her honour with my family there to cheer everyone

on. Thank you in advance for the consideration. Sincerely, Colin
and we have team Pamela out today, in support of medal bearer number 118.

led by " big bird"

Pamela has come a long way since first being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Here is a story sent in by her husband.

My Wife ... My Hero In the Spring of 2004 Pamela was a single professional and was diagnosed with Progressive Remitting Relapsing Multiple

Sclerosis. She had lost the sight in one eye, couldn't balance and had difficulty eating because of her tremors. Pamela was pushed in a

wheelchair at the MS Walk that year. She had lost a portion of her youth, her health and her profession, but still she remained "up beat" and

optimistic through it all. In 2005, 2006 and 2007 she used a scooter at the annual MS Walks. In 2008 she married [me] and resolved to "get fit"

... joined a fitness club which included conventional exercise and Yoga. That year she used a walker at the MS Walk ... the next in 2009 she

walked the route using "Walking Poles" and she walked it without Aids this year and jogged a good portion "to boot." Now Pamela has joined a

"Running Club" and last weekend she ran 4 kilometers. Oh, .... did I tell you that I'm so proud of her. While the journey has not always been

easy for Pamela and not without its obstacles, she has maintained a "stiff upper lip" and persevered. And Pamela is continuously reminded that

she has MS ... the "fatigue" and the "fog" are constant companions ... reminders that she hasn't "whipped" it by a long shot ... but she is an

inspiration for all [especially for me]. While I walk with her I am so proud ... she has done so well and she looks so darn good too ... I am one

proud "hubby." By: Gord Weitzel Note...I will be running the MS Walk three times this year

Over looking the town of Langley.
Fair warning about the traffic delays when the relay comes through. (Kenn is peeling off the insertion point sticker to give to the medal bearers as a souvenir.)

A rare (and rarer pose!) sight, Russ as one of the bike escorts today!

Here come Kayla's dad, carrying the medal, flanked by our endurance athlete Ramesh, Marilyn, and Jess (escorts) and Robyn, (our photographer, I have not seen him on the road in months!), and of course,

My job is done today, but the relay carries on towards the end of day celebration in White Rock (population about 20,000) My grand-parents were early residents, and even have a street named after them.

Highway 99 heading west to our last home on the relay.

through the George Massey tunnel

now north to Richmond,
for the last four nights of the relay, at the Delta airport hotel.

the view from the room.

It was really nice behind the hotel, where the Fraser River goes into the Pacific Ocean.

Day 270 done, only 3 more to go, that's a scary thought. ( not as scary as bumping into Ty in the lobby, never did get the story on this one!)


  1. It's really, really nice that the relay team got to nominate someone from their own circles.

    The story about the couple living with the wife's MS is touching. I also have MS and was diagnosed in 2008. Canada has the 2nd highest rate of the disease in the world. This month has been MS Awareness Month and National MS Day is June 31st. Being involved in the relay this month meant that alot of people asked me how I got involved, which lead to conversations and teachable moments about MS, so I am really glad it happened that way.

    I know you're posting a few days behind, but I hope you are doing okay with the post relay crash.

  2. Oops! National MS day is MAY 31st! I don't know how I managed to type June!