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Travelling on the Highway of Hope

Yesterday as we made our way across New Brunswick we came upon another fellow traveller making his way across Canada. We had to been looking for him as we passed through each province.

Unlike us we was not sitting comfortably inside and electric vehicle doing up the long hills that make up the highway in New Brunswick; instead sweat glistening from this frame he was making is way up one of the many slopes on his bicycle as his wife drove behind with flashing lights on. It was Dave MacKenzie, the fellow we had been asked to watch for pedalling his way across Canada to raise funds and awareness for cancer research, care and education.

We each pulled over to visit.

Dave Mackenzie started his journey in May in Cowichan Bay BC and will be ending his cross country tour at the Bay of Fundy.

He is a 57 year old man cycling an average approx.125 miles a day while his wife travels with him as the road support and logistics person. Cancer has left its imprint on his life, he lost his mother to cancer and both his wife and his father have fought battles with cancer.

When asked why a man his age would plant his butt onto the hard saddle of a bicycle just to continuously peddle every day not matter what the weather or terrain for over 7500km to inspire people to support and get involved with the Canadian Cancer Society his answer is, “Because I know that no matter how difficult the mountain, or how hot the day or how hard the pedal, it pales next to the suffering cancer causes every day.”

As we were chatting, Dave told us about stopping for the night at a camp site just outside of Thunder Bay and being told by the owner that Terry Fox’s parents would come back to this campsite over the years to revisit the place in Sept 1 1980 after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres cancer cut Terry’s journey short.

Terry’s mission lives on to raise awareness for cancer research and to inspire people like Dave MacKenzie to keep up the drive to find a cure for cancer.

Back in the car, my thoughts were with David and Terry and the many conversations on the road I had had about hope. From the corner of my eye I was a highway sign with word hope, I was sure as I fumbled for my camera that it said “highway of hope” (I could be wrong).

People have asked me if I am hopeful. That is not really what it is. I travel on the highway of hope with all its challenges and pain and setbacks but I keep moving just like Dave and Terry who inspire me because we can create a better world if we try.

“I want to try the impossible to show it can be done. –Anything is possible if you try” Terry Fox

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