Monday, June 30, 2008

Running Into Ottawa...

"Let us be English or let us be French but above all let us be Canadian!!"
- Sir John Alexander MacDonald (Canada's First Prime Minister)
On the eve of Canada's 141st birthday it seemed appropriate to speed up the run over the past few weeks in order to make it to Ottawa on Canada Day!  Every extra step made the difference!

A lot of activity has picked up since entering Ontario (1/3 of the dream complete!).  Firstly, a special thanks to Kathleen Provost, Executive Director for the Autism Society of Canada, as well as her family, and friends, for inviting the team over to her house, on Sunday evening, for a home cooked meal!  Thank you to Andrew for the cherry tomato eating competition!  Too bad we couldn't declare a winner because, unfortunately, we ran out of tomatoes after finishing 26 each.
So, 2700+ kms and we've made it to Ottawa!  This morning, the last 5 kms was completed from Ashbury College to Parliament Hill with a few special guests.  Lucy van Oldenbarneveld of CBC News, at Six, joined me along with Senator Jim Munson who even changed his flight and vacation a few days to join the run.  Also a big thank you to those who bicycled and ran! Meeting the dream on Parliament Hill was Andrew Kavchak, an Ottawa area autism advocate who has been campaigning for action since his son was diagnosed with ASD.  Andrew's son, just like many other parents across this country, face the challenge of losing support and services because of their child's age.  For those learning more about Autism....FYI- As it stands now, Autism Spectrum Disorders are currently a life long disorder.  It is difficult to understand, in the context of age and ASD, why services would be taken away?

I hope all those that read this blog and have a story about Autism use our "Their Stories" feature on the website. At the conclusion of this run all the "Their Stories" will be submitted to the Premiers of every province, as well as the Prime Minister of Canada.  If you have access to a webcam, please share!  Every story matters in helping towards change!  No voice should be left silent! More voices make the choir louder!

Special 25th birthday mention to my friend, Matt Zdebiak back home in Mississauga!  Happy Birthday Zeker!

The Dream Continues.....

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