Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay

Hello everyone,

I'm sorry if I haven't posted anything for a while we've been kind of busy.  Approximately 8 months ago I entered a contest, a chance to participate and be one of the medal bearers for the Rick Hansen 25th anniversary marathon across Canada.

Several weeks ago I received a call,  I had been chosen as one of the medal bearers.  Not having used my manual wheelchair for quite some time meant I had a fair amount of work ahead of me.  I tried and tried, although I did make progress it fell far short of my expectations, luckily the group representing Rick Hansen were there to lend a helping hand.

I have never had the opportunity to be involved with a group so organized and devoted to their cause it was humbling.   They made me feel as if I was someone special from the very beginning right to the end and then some.  They went above and beyond what I expected in terms of support, assistance and follow-up for my portion of the relay.

As mentioned soon after I heard of the news I took out the old manual wheelchair and started practicing.  I took several falls which set me back yet I tried to pursue in order to build the strength in my arms too overcome the distance assigned to me in this relay.  Honestly, I could not have completed this relay without the help of the volunteers and my spouse which you can definitely see by watching the uTube video links attached.

On the morning of the event it was rather chilly and I over did it in the dressing department.  Looking like the Good year blimp or the Michelin Man you pick however I had so much clothes on me it made it difficult for me to wheel my chair.  Even though I had practiced and practiced around our buildings it was impossible for me to move beyond a few feet and this you can see in the video.  Grateful for the help I received by the members of the Rick Hansen group and my spouse I am even more graceful for the support I have received from my friends.

I once read that a man should count himself lucky if he had one trusted friend well this event proved to me that I not only have one yet several.  One family member I never expected to see showed up and I am forever grateful for her support, thanks Suzanne.  My childhood friend Raymond showed up with Lise, as well as Pierre and Danielle.  And get this, which is in my opinion unbelievable, a friend from Toronto drove up especially for the occasion.  I was flabbergasted, Mr. Michael Dwyer you are the best!

All in all it made for quite a day getting up at 5:15 AM returning home after celebrations on Parliament Hill at approximately 7:30 PM we were spent and went to bed almost immediately upon our arrival.  I trust you understand why I haven't posted these past few days. I've attached some videos to give you an idea of the relay. I trust you enjoy them.




Mary K. Mennenga said...

You really never know how many friends you have until you need them!

Sherri said...

way to go Mike! I can imagine how large a feat this was for you... I walked a 5k MS walk today and it was a booger...

Love seeing all that support and cheering around you... fabulous!

Hope you are recovering and doing alright :)

Karen said...


You did it my friend,
félicitations! I am so proud of you! Vous êtes un héros à mes yeux.


ManonZombie said...

Hey Dad! that was amazing! What a great turn out you had. You did a great job! the people seemed to be super nice and very helpful. i'm so proud of you, you made it look easy although i'm sure if people knew how much effort that really was for you they would all be amazed! btw, you did not look like a blimp! you look...really warm! lol

Love you!

MikeH said...

You are definitely correct, when you need your friends that's when you realize whom you really have beside you.

Congratulations for completing the 5 km MS walk. We participated for somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 consecutive years and what I enjoyed the most was the people getting together and the bond which existed amongst those of us with MS.

Wow I am impressed, thank you very much!

The organization surrounding Rick Hansen has to be one of the most professional I've ever had the chance of being with.
All of the persons I met were super going above and beyond.
As for the Goodyear blimp, you're too kind LOL. I definitely overdid it in the dress department so much so that I had difficulty reaching the wheels on the wheelchair.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

You did it! Congrats

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