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Cross-Canada adventure stops in the ‘Peg
Cyclists met day before cross Canada adventure
The term go for a ride has taken on a whole new meaning for David DeWolfe and Olivier Boulais.
DeWolfe, a Calgary-based piano teacher, and Boulais, a Vancouver-based graphic arts student, were in Winnipeg last week as part of their cross-country trek to help raise funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis.
The duo spent last Wednesday checking out the city, including the North End, before heading out on north Main Street to continue their journey east.
"We’ve seen a lot of road kill and experienced every kind of weather imaginable," DeWolfe said, laughing.
DeWolfe, 22, first became aware of the devastating effects of cystic fibrosis in 2008. The degenerative disease affects an individual’s lungs as well as their pancreas, liver and intestines. One Canadian dies from the disease every week, according to Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
"A few years ago I met a young boy named Qayz Nurani. He would change my life. Qayz seemed normal at first like the other kids, a little smaller than most, but very outgoing," he recalled.
"It was not until we were playing street hockey after a piano lesson one day that I started to notice his shortness of breath, and coughing."
DeWolfe eventually learned from Nurani’s family that the youngster suffers from cystic fibrosis and he "quickly became like a little brother to me."
It was then that DeWolfe decided to join the fight against the disease and came up with the idea to cycle across Canada.
"We canvassed downtown Calgary and got a few sponsors like Ridley’s Cycle and Trek Bikes and Catalyst Supplement and it was starting to look great for this summer," he said.
DeWolfe’s journey was nearly over before it even began. Less than a week before he was scheduled to begin his trek on June 15, his original cycling partner had to drop out.
"I put a call out on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in cycling across Canada with a stranger with little notice," he said.
Enter Boulais, 24, an avid cyclist who agreed to join him shortly after they met for the first time.
"We met at about 11 p.m. the night before we started. We shook hands and that was it," DeWolfe said. "I certainly didn’t want to do this by myself."
Boulais ended up having to cram about a month’s worth of studies and summer school into just a few days before the duo departed Vancouver.
"I bike all the time, otherwise I wouldn’t have considered this," Boulais said.
DeWolfe, on the other hand, hadn’t spent much time cycling since he was 12.
"I’ve been making the transition from fat hockey player to fit cyclist," he joked.
DeWolfe said the ride across Canada is more than just a fundraiser.
"Fundraising is important but raising awareness about what cystic fibrosis is and what it does is just as important," he said.
Darcy Hodgins, president of the Winnipeg Chapter of Cystic Fibrosis Canada, said any efforts to raise awareness of the disease should be applauded.
"What these two guys are doing is so amazing, trying to spread the word across Canada," he said.
Although the pair still has hundreds of kilometres left to travel, they have already accumulated some lasting memories of their time on the road.
"We met a man who is walking around the world," DeWolfe said. "He’s headed this way and might be through here in a few months."
To follow the pair online, check out http://my.e2rm.com/teamPage.aspx?teamID=273645&langPref=en-CA
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(1 of 11 articles for this week)05/14/2013 9:47 AM 0
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