I’m currently sitting in my hotel room in Halifax, at the Kin Canada national convention. I just finished eating the last of a box of 10 Persians (a frosted cinnamon bun from Thunder Bay) that I bought at a charity auction for Cystic Fibrosis for $4000. It’s the best donut I’ve ever eaten. Not just because of the taste (it was delicious), but because of what that Persian represented. It was the payoff for months of training, blood, sweat, and tears, the final chapter of my Marathon for CF campaign, and an experience I will never forget.
Those familiar with Marathon for CF know that since March of this year, I’ve been training to run a marathon. In June, I unveiled the Marathon for CF campaign to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. I did radio and newspaper interviews in my home community, campaigned on social media, and raised money for Cystic Fibrosis Canada with the help of my local Kinsmen Club in The Pas, Manitoba. My goal was to run a marathon in Saint John, NB and then present a cheque with the money I raised at the national convention in Halifax. The race and the fundraising campaign were successful beyond all my hopes, and I arrived at the convention with a cheque for just over $3400, but without a real plan as to how to present it. On Friday morning, I saw the perfect opportunity.
Some Kin Canada members Thunder Bay brought with them a few packs of Persians to auction off during one of our meetings, with the proceeds to go to Cystic Fibrosis Canada. We also had a special guest in attendance – a young boy named Kaiden, the son of a Kin member, who was afflicted with Cystic Fibrosis. As he stood on the stage with the auctioneer who was working the floor to raise the money, I saw my opportunity. I raised the bid up to $3407.22 – all the money I had raised for Marathon for CF to that point, and the floor erupted in applause. In the furor, the national Kin Canada president, James Doerr, approached me and told me he’d make a donation to round the total up to $4000.
It was a truly emotional moment. I had the opportunity to speak to a room of around 300 passionate Kinettes and Kinsmen from across the country where I was from, how I was inspired to run a marathon in honour of those living with Cystic Fibrosis, and how the generosity of the citizens of The Pas, Manitoba, and my brothers in the Kinsmen Club of The Pas and my Kin family from across the district and country supported and encouraged me along the way. Being able to stand with Kaiden and truly see the impact of our fundraising efforts made it extra special to me.
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone who has followed me on my Marathon for CF journey. This is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I hope I was able to spread awareness of the effects of Cystic Fibrosis and hopefully inspire others to join the fight to find a cure for CF. I believe we will find a cure in my lifetime, and I’m proud to do my part.