Can't Stand the word "Can't"

The word "Can't"bothers me.  It strikes a nerve with me.  When I hear the word "Can't" I interpret that as someone is not going to try.  Can't is convenient.  Can't is crippling.  I hear they're not prepared to go through the struggle and effort.  I hear that someone is not willing to pick themselves up when they fall. 

My wife and I recently relocated to a new city which meant I had to hire a whole new support staff to help me in the mornings at 5 AM with my personal care (shaving, showering, and dressing).  This means I have to trust strangers to whom I have only just met with my life. I have to instruct them to help me get ready in the morning.  This puts me in a highly vulnerable situation.  One person that I hired (now fired) did not take the time to learn the specifics of my morning routine.  There is nothing medical about my morning routine, but it is highly detailed to ensure everything is just right for me to be independent through out the day.  This person almost caused me to fall in the shower a number of times.  I felt crippled for the first time in a long time.  I was frustrated.  Angry.  I am trying to get ready for my first day at my new job but not sure I will make it out of the bathtub..  Luckily, my wife jumped in to help me get ready so I can be at work at 7:30 AM.  When I get dressed, my clothes have to be lined up with such precision to allow me to go to the bathroom independently at work.  The margin of failure is only inches.  This is a routine that I've continually refined over my life to strive to get more independent to allow me to have a "normal" life.  My job of being Dave and managing my needs is a 24/7 job on top of my professional job.

I don’t share this with you to feel sorry for me.  I’m simply giving background to why I have no tolerance for the word can’t or cannot accept the excuse that something is too difficult to try.  If I did not do anything that was difficult, I would not even get out of bed in the morning.

Let “Can’t” be the start of the story, not the ending.  Let “Can’t” drive you, not constrain you.  To get something you've never had, you must do something you've never done.  You have to change.  You have to endure scars to achieve what seems impossible.  You have to struggle.  You have to be resilient.  Anything worth having is worth struggling for. Try. Fail. Try again.  Our journey will be made up of falling and picking ourselves up.

These are my scars to endure.  Scars serve as a reminder to the past, but it does not tell us about the future. Change is challenging, frustrating, and terrifying.  There is no growth without change.  The struggle has to be fought, because the journey has to continue.

Strong people cry too

I usually pride myself as someone that is strong and can hold their emotions in check.  The last few months have been pretty emotional for me.  There are people you meet in your life that touch your heart in ways you never forget.

In September I cried as I crossed the finish when I completed walking 5km.  18 months of training physically and mentally had helped me reach this goal and to honour Terry Fox by raising $30,000 for his foundation.

In October I cried as one of my close friends passed away.  Thinking back of all our special times we shared and realizing that we would not get the opportunity to add to those special times.

The last two weeks have had me pretty weepy.  I had to say goodbye to my trainer, Alex.  We spent the last 2 + years training for 3 hours a week.  We developed a close bond in working toward spreading 60 lbs and getting stronger then I have ever been.  As we did our final training session before Christmas we hugged and we both got misty eyes.

Yesterday I said goodbye to an amazing team that together we accomplished amazing things.  We spent the afternoon reflecting on all the accomplishments we made and what needed to be done in the next year. I had to pause a number of times to keep my composure as I spoke with them.   These are my brothers of way that I would go in any battle with them.  They were colleagues that became brothers.

Also, yesterday my sister sent me one of the most heart warming texts she has ever said to me. She congratulated me on moving to the big city for my new opportunity and how proud my mom was and how proud my dad would be,  It was very special to me.

Tonight, was definitely the hardest.  I said goodbye to B.  We both started crying as we had a long hug.  B started working with me as a goofy young punk kid 8 years ago.  He went to the beat of his own drum and did the silly things kids do.  Over the next 8 years I have seen this young punk grow into an amazing man, husband, and father.  Over the years he would provide me with such outstanding care that Iforgot that I had a disability whenever he was with me.  We would laugh, rip on each other, prank each other, and grow closer to one another,  We would share countless conversations and always be there for each other.  I would chirp on him like my little brother about going back to school, to put himself and his family first, and get him to set goals.  I did not do this to be a pain, but did this because I knew he had it in him.  Seeing this punk kid transform to be a man in front of my eyes makes me so proud.  I'm proud to be his older brother. I know one day we will look back on this moment and we will tease one another about the way we cried when we hugged...but I know we were fortunate to share this moment.

Although the frequency of the times we see each other will be less living 120km away from one another, we are all better people from sharing these moments. How great is it to achieve great things and develop such life long relationships. If none of us moved forward from our past we would have never met.  As our journeys continue we will experience new achievements and form new relationships...becoming who we were meant to become. We do not really say, 'goodbye', we say, 'see you later'.  We will experience new things that we will share with each other when we do talk again.  We will continue to be a support circle for one another to help one another.  

Our love continues. Our friendship continues. Our journey continues. 

These are tears of sadness and these are tears of joy.

Looking in the Mirror...

During this time of year it is normal to reflect back on the past.  I set some pretty ambitious goals for 2014.  I'm happy that I've been able to achieve most of the goals that I set.

This year has been a lot of ups and downs.  I have been able to accomplish things that did not seem possible and I lost a very special person in my life.  I am starting a new chapter in moving to Toronto and taking on an exciting new opportunity.  However, to do this my wife and I are moving away from a number of loved ones we have got close to over the last 9 years.

Looking back on everything I realize how lucky I am to have such an amazing life filled with family, friends, and other people that inspire me to embrace this awfully wonderful thing of life and enjoy it.

I wish I could go back in time and talk to the sixteen-year-old version of myself that would spend countless hours alone in his bedroom scared that he would not find that special woman, not be able to make it in the grown-up world, and to not know what kind of life he would have.  As a teenager I would even find myself in tears thinking the above-mentioned is not possible.  

I am complete

I am complete

I wish I could go back and tell him that he is going to find a woman that will make him better than he could've ever imagined, that completes the holes that were left void, that is the reason why you wake up in the morning and is your best friend & lover (Giggity).

Steps to Victory with Alex and Kelly

Steps to Victory with Alex and Kelly

Sharing the moments with special friends

Sharing the moments with special friends

Step by step

Step by step

I wish I could go back and tell him that you will meet the special person named Alex.  Together you will spend twenty months training to walk further and faster than you ever thought possible.  You will do the Terry Fox event that would raise over $30,000 for cancer.  This event would allow you to get closer to your dreams with each step.  This event would take place in front of all the special people in your life to share in this moment with you.  This event will help to define you and the next chapter of your life.  You will always remember the love you felt when you cross the finish line.  You will remember the lives you touched with your walk.  You will remember people`s own stories they shared.  You will remember the letters from students touching your heart.  You will remember. forever forever

Co-present with Scott

Co-present with Scott

I wish I could go back and tell him that he will have a career in which he works with incredibly bright and talented people in solving complex problems.  This career would allow him to help organizations exceed expectations.  This career would be his passion.  This career would give him the life his parents always dreamed of.  People will see you as a thought leader.

I wish I could go back and tell him to make sure you cherishes those moments with special loved ones.  These moments will not be forever.  You need to love and appreciate them for everything .  You need to be happy that you got to share time with them, even if they have to leave this world early.  You need to appreciate family, friends, and loved ones each time you see them as if it was the last time ever.  To remember to keep the journey continuing even when there journey on earth is no longer.

I wish I could go back and tell him that despite the ups and downs… You are in for a hell of a ride!


Goodbye Waterloo...thank you for the memories

Kelly and I are moving to Toronto on January 3rd to start our next chapter.  I accepted a new job.

Kelly and I moved to Waterloo during our first year of marriage.  To move away from the area of where we were born, move away from family & friends, and move away from the known, would either break us apart or bring us even closer together.  After 10 years I'm glad it's been the latter.We will continue to try new things and experience life.  There is no other person that I want to share this journey with.

We only knew a couple close friends when we first moved here.  Over the 9 years we made some amazing friends that will continue for a life time.

We are moving for very intrinsic reasons.  Professionally, the Toronto area provides me a rich area for me to continue to grow in my field.  Kelly has seen numerous finance opportunities to continue to grow in her space.  It provides more independence to travel to places within Toronto.  Kelly is always the sole driver and we can never bring my power chair.  We will get to experience this new lively city together...without Kelly needing to be the chauffeur in the car and with pushing my portable chair.    This move brings us closer to family. I don't think we need to elaborate on what this means.

The last 3 months have been a whirlwind for us.  The achievement of walking the 5km relit my flame to realizing anything is possible.  Losing a close friend reminded us that life is short.  Life needs purpose, life needs to be lived.  Kelly being end dated to her job made timing for such a change opportunistic.  She has been the 'rock' as I even was approaching this with hesitance. 

Kelly and I appreciate how much Waterloo has embraced us.  This community is allowed us to grow personally and professionally.  The friendships we had grew deeper plus it gave us a bunch of new friends that we will have for a lifetime.Today, the world is a smaller place.  Social media has allowed us to keep connected with people no matter the geography.  Don't worry, we plan to visit Waterloo often.  

Live life.  Love those around you.  Take chances.  Continue to grow.

Kelly and I look forward to this new chapter.

The journey continues…

I'm not brave, I just keep trying

A lot of people approached me recently congratulating me on being brave.  Also, a number of people asked me how I became so brave to challenge myself and put myself out there.  I don't think I woke up one day and was instantly brave.  Like everyone, I have fears, anxieties, and insecurities.

I believe what encouraged me to face these things is to deal with them more frequently.  I would face my fears, anxieties, and insecurities, slowly pushing myself to achieving things that previously scared me.  In doing scary things often, you get better at dealing with failure.  The more you deal with making mistakes or not achieving something, the better you can recover from it.  Doing this frequently makes this uncomfortable feeling your new normal.  This is training your brain to live in this uncomfortable place.  You're conditioning your emotions to deal with setbacks.  You're conditioning yourself to get back up and show resilience.  The more you do something the easier it gets.  Using this structure/framework  allows me to deal with the challenges and builds courage.  The more accomplishments you've achieved (whether it's from a number of trial and errors or if you get it the first time) keeps moving you forward.

I also give a little credit of being stubborn to overcoming fear.   I tend to want to face what people say is impossible, or unrealistic, as a challenge to overcome.  Every great success story began with the notion of impossible or unrealistic… I like to fill in the rest of the story between the start and finish.  It's not easy.  It's very frustrating.  It's really hard work.  It's incredibly rewarding.

The last thing you want in life is to live with regret.  Making mistakes gives you a chance to learn from them. If the number of missed opportunities pile up, it will give you a worse feeling than you would have ever experienced from being uncomfortable and recovering from failure.



Having a support structure around you to continue to support, inspire, console, and challenge you is essential.    The power of your inner circle can either break you or encourage you… find your supportive circle.

It's very easy to point fault at someone or not to believe… If we want others to achieve success from being uncomfortable we have to support and encourage them. 

Life is short.  Life is a gift.  Life is unfair.  Life is hard.  Life is awesome.  If being uncomfortable makes you live it to the fullest… Why would you ever want to be comfortable?

This Is My Friend Razzy


The year was 1993. My parents just dropped me off for my first semester in residence at the University of Waterloo.  It was the January semester.  I had never felt so alone.  There was a knock on the door and in came this guy in a power chair with a helper.  He was carrying beers on his lap.  He introduced himself as Jeff Rasmussen… But he said, "People call me Razzy."  In sharing a beer with my new friend he began to tell me that the residence was divided in two: people born with a disability and people who acquired a disability via accident.  Jeff and I felt being born with a disability was the blue blood of disabled royalty.  This is true.  Little did I know at the time this was going to be someone that I would spend the next twenty-one years graduating, entering the workforce together, travelling together, each finding our soul mates, playing practical jokes on people, and becoming close friends.

This Is My Friend Razzy.


Razzy and I were neighbours the first couple years of university.  Having thin walls between the rooms and big stereo systems was a bad combination.  I could always count on being woken up to thunderstruck blaring from his room at 7am after a night of partying.  To this day the words Thunder… Thunder… Thunder still haunt me.  I am still Thunderstruck.




This Is My Friend Razzy.

Razzy was really studious spending hours doing math homework.  He would still find time to participate in Sega hockey tournaments.  Every time we would beat the able-bodied people on our residents floor… Razzy would point out that they got beat by two gimps.

This Is My Friend Razzy.

When my dad passed away Jeff reached out to me.  He consoled me from far away and let me know that I had to keep moving forward because that's what my dad would want.  Razzy admittedly  didn't know what to say, but he always offered to listen.

This Is My Friend Razzy.

When razzy would call me at work he loved to be put through reception and leave the message, "Hi, this is Jeff Rasmussen from Revenue Canada and I need to get a hold of David Dame urgently to discuss his outstanding taxes". In a short time the rumours would fly around work.

This Is My Friend Razzy.

In our single days as we would approach girls at the bar.  All of us would do our best to introduce ourselves with our best opening line.  We all had lines except for Jibby...he just had to start playing his guitar (musicians had it easy). When these girls would ask what Jeff did for a living, he would reply, "I'm the tax man.  I'm the one who takes your grandmother's house."  He loved seeing their reaction…

One night at Phil's (a bar) Raz introduced me to a group of girls as 'His Retarded Friend, Davey".  Like a good wingman I rolled with it...

This Is My Friend Razzy.


I had the privilege of travelling on trips with Jeff to Los Angeles and Chicago.  Anyone that has ever travelled with Jeff knows the detailed itinerary he puts together that must be followed.  He has the itinerary organized in fifteen minute chunks to maximize our vacation.  One night in Los Angeles we went bar hopping down the LA strip.  The rest of us consumed an extraordinary amount of alcohol while partying.  The next morning when the rest of us were struggling to get ready for the day to adhere to his itinerary, he laid into us.  Razzy roles in and says, "It stinks in here!  Someone open up the Jesus Christ-ing windows.  I'm leaving without you and by the time I get back your lazy asses better have this room cleaned up or I'm going to roll some ass when I return." You might not think someone in a wheelchair is intimidating… But he delivered that speech like a boss!

In the late 1990's you could view your hotel bill from the TV in your room.  Razzy would check the bill 6 times a day to make sure we did not order porn or room service.  During our vacation our hotel bill was the most watched program in Los Angeles!  

This Is My Friend Razzy.

I remember during our trip to Chicago when Jeff first started dating the lady that would eventually become his wife.  Jeff was unable to hold the phone receiver himself so he had to have his buddy hold the receiver while he talked with her in front of us in the hotel room.  I knew then that this relationship would progress from girlfriend to wife.  Hearing the conversation, "I love you more… No, I love you more".  Jeff had this conversation knowing fully that we would give him the gears the moment he hung up.  A man doesn't endure that kind of punishment unless he really loves the person he was talking too.

This Is My Friend Razzy.

We played countless pranks on our friends and personal support workers.  I can't share a lot of them on this post but refer to my blog post, "Disabled People Can Be Bastards".

This Is My Friend Razzy.

Jeff and I shared so many things in common.  Having disabilities we pushed through the normal school system, graduated from University, and made our way into the working world.  We overcame numerous obstacles.  We would both find our soulmates.  We would both make our parents proud to achieve things that others did not seem possible.  It's true that you don't know what you got until it's gone.  Our time with Jeff was too short.  Dr. Seuss said, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" I will try not to cry and smile.  I'm a better person for having Jeff in my life. I'm glad to have shared this journey with him.

This Is My Friend Razzy.  I miss you.

Crip Baseball - A Disabled Field of Dreams

With the Major League Baseball playoffs happening it reminded me of my playing days.  Surprisingly enough, I did not play Major League Baseball, rather 'Buddy Ball'.  Buddy Ball was the closest thing for crips.

Buddy Ball was baseball for people with disabilities.  Each disabled player had a 'buddy' they were paired with to field the ball and to push you along the bases when you were at bat.  We hit off a T since most crips can't throw a ball to save your life.  When your team was in the field the crip player would hold his ball cap like a net and your buddy would field the ball and place it in  the hat.  If you have seen my hands before, putting a glove on it would be as frustrating as bending a spoon mentally.


One year my parents thought it would be good if my sister would be my 'buddy' for the season.  My sister is 10 years older than me and this was during the time of her partying days.  She wanted nothing more than getting home at 3am to wake up at 8am to play Buddy Ball.  I wanted nothing more than a hung over buddy.  Nobody would ever have suspected that we would be the most feared players in the game that season.

The first game came around.  I seen a spark in my sister.  Buddy Ball was intended to get disabled people out doing activities.  My sister saw it as a competitive sport that could be won, where there were winners and losers.  She was going to relive her softball days and bring the pennant home to the red team.  My sister raced me around the bases more reckless than a Fast & The Furious movie.  If you stepped in front of us...your wheelchair would be scrap metal and the buddy would need a buddy for the next game.

The whole next week my sister had me in the driveway practicing for the next game.  My sister thought it took too much time for her to field the ball from the ground and run it over to me and drop it in my hat.  She came up with the Buddy Ball game changer - the throw!  She had me place my hat on my lap and she would field the ball and throw it (hard) right into my lap.  Needless to say getting a baseball in the junk wasn't making me feel so good.  I never had more of an appreciation for oxygen as I did then.  I complained to my sister and she said, "Walk it off, we need to win"...yes, I appreciate the irony in her reply.

She did not stop there.  She made modifications to my looked like something the A-Team put together.  She took off the arm rests and feet rests as she thought that was giving too much weight and drag around the corners as we rounded the bases.  By the time she was done it looked like a shopping cart as my arms and legs hung over.  However, I successfully negotiated to keep the seat belt.

We piled up the wins that season.  The play I remember most was the time we got a home run.  The team we were playing had a catcher with all four prosthetic limbs.  We hit the ball and my sister pushed my chair so fast I could see my life pass before my eyes.  I thought we were going to stop at 3rd base because the ball was headed home.  My sister thought different,  The catcher stumbled to the baseline and we smashed right into him.  All I saw were limbs flying everywhere as we zoomed through.  While everyone else was putting the catcher back together, the ref called us 'SAFE!'

We never got invited to play buddy ball again after that season

I learned three things that season:

  1. You should always wear a cup
  2. Pain is temporary, but victory is forever
  3. My sister is pretty awesome

Until next time...

The Friends You Keep

 Our friends bring out both the best of us and the worst of us.  Throughout my entire life, through the highs and lows, I have had the best of friends surrounding me.

Recently, when I completed my 5K Terry Fox walk, I had a whole group of friends there that I don't think I would've made it to the finish line if the wasn't for them making me laugh. 

Friends with me each step of the way during the walk...

One of the benefits to having a disability is that you can filter shallow people out of your life.  This leaves you with real genuine people to surround yourself with. This alone makes having a physical disability well worth the price of admission.

My friends all have the same twisted sense of humour as I do.  This is one of the things that bond us...


One year at work I forgot there was a dress up contest for work.  I improvised and quickly dressed up as Christopher Reeves...

I remember in university there were nights where we would go out for heavy drinking, and by some miracle I always ended up waking up safe and sound in my own bed.  Although there was this one time that we left my power wheelchair at the bar.  Imagine my surprise waking up the next morning and not seeing my power wheelchair in the room.  My parents were coming down to visit me that day and I couldn't think of what I would tell them about the missing chair.  I called my buddy that I went out with and asked him if he could remember.  He came down to my rez room and we began to trace our steps back for the evening prior.  He remembered that we only had twenty dollars left.  We had a very important choice to make.  Do we use that twenty dollars to order pizza or do we use it for cab fare back to the University residence?  Tough decisions for a university student.  Creatively enough, we came up with the idea that if we ordered the pizza from the place beside the bar we could have them deliver it to the residence (Village 1, North 6 represent) then we could have pizza AND catch a ride back home.  The only problem was that we had to leave my power wheelchair behind.  Maybe not the best decision I ever made, but hey, at least I didn't drink and drive.  Imagine my walk of shame the next morning as I had to go to the bar the next day to pick up my Powerchair before my parents got there.  I did get a standing ovation from the staff.

When we would go to bars my buddies thought of me is the perfect wing man.  Nothing made them look better to the opposite sex that having a good friend in a wheelchair with them at the bar.  I have more assists racked up then Wayne Gretzky.  It was the least I could do since they had to help me to the bathroom after I broke the seal.  I was also during a public service to all the cougars.  Dancing with a guy in a wheelchair was a sure ticket to heaven, so I told them...

I don't take for granted the people in my life.  I am privileged to say that most of my friends have been life-long friends. They have seen me as a awkward teenager, trying to find who I was in my University years, seeing me transition from school to career, co-worker, and to fall in love.

The boyz at my wedding...

People always asked me if I could be born again without cerebral palsy, would I do it?  I always answer absolutely not.  I don't think I would be the stubborn person that I am, nor would I have the amazing people that I do in my life.  I would not trade that for anything.  

If you are judged by the friends you keep… I must be pretty awesome.

Until next time…


Achieving the impossible requires insanity


Last week I achieved one of my goals.  I set a goal out thirteen months ago to be able to walk 5 km to raise money for cancer research.  Having cerebral palsy and spending the majority of my day in a power wheelchair makes this goal seems unrealistic or possibly insane.  Maybe it was… But achieving this  last week puts it in perspective...doesn't it?

After completing walking 5km I was filled with emotions I hugged my wife and did not want to ever leave her arms...

Throughout my life I have had to find different creative ways to be able to achieve the things I want in life.  This forced me to leverage out-of-the-box thinking, technology, and to develop a way to engage everything around me to be able to accomplish the things that I want to do.  I had to find new ways to be able to dictate written correspondence, I've had to leverage different ways of thinking to achieve what was expected of me.  Leveraging all of this I have became an effective change agent in helping organizations increase their efficiency and productivity by setting unrealistic expectations and coming up with creative ways to do things, a skill that I have developed in finding creative ways to do things that they previously never thought of within the organization.  To help people in the teams to embrace unrealism and insanity to accomplish amazing results.  

Last week made me realize that being a little insane not only  helped me achieve my goals, but it has an impact on others in helping them get confidence, motivation, and inspiration to achieve their goals which seem impossible to them.  

I challenge you to be a little bit insane.  I challenge you to be a little unrealistic.  This way you can take the first step of discovering what is really possible for yourself and open up the avenues to other things in your life.

Insanely yours…

Until next time…

The Power of Words

As the Terry Fox walk approaches I have been juggling a lot of thoughts and emotions.  Training for the walk, multiple work priorities, promoting the walk, looking for a new personal support worker have been all competing for my head space.  This week we did my final walk before the big day and I pulled a muscle in my knee.  My wife had to struggle getting me back into the house as I could barely put weight on it.  Happy to say it's all better now.

This week the following thoughts are running through my head - "Have I prepared enough",  "Accelerate", "Why does this have to hurt now", "When will I get a good support worker to interview?...How am I going to get out of bed tomorrow to go to work?", "Reduce time to market", "Capacity", "Am I promoting the Terry Fox walk enough?", "Am I promoting it too much?" "Can I do this walk?", "How are my friends and family doing?". Self doubt. Anger. Fear. Exhaustion. Frustration. You lose yourself.

I stole this graphic from the internet...

I stole this graphic from the internet...

Then this week a gentleman approached me at the gym.  He said, "You say Terry Fox is your hero...YOU are MY hero.  I'm at the gym tonight because of you. Thank you" 

Re-motivated. Passion re-ignited. Re-focused. Bring on The Terry Fox walk next Sunday, September 14th! I'm Ready!

The Journey Continues.

Visit -

This video of my workout is courtesy of Edward Platero -


Because I have been given much, I too must give.

The quote above is written over top of my cousin's family's kitchen table.  His wife explained that they instill in their children that they are fortunate to have the life they have so they should give to others that are less fortunate.  I found this incredibly inspiring.

When I first decided to set the goal to walk 5km, it was to push myself.  My stubbornness would motivate me to give everything I had to achieve this goal.  I want to show people that anything can happen if you put your mind to it.  This extends beyond personal achievements.  What can all of us do if we put our efforts into something.  What can we do as a community to help others.   If I can walk 5km...why can't we come up with a cure for cancer.  If I didn't believe I could walk 5km, I would never even try.  If we don't believe we can cure cancer, will we?

Some people think it's unfair that I was born with Cerebral Palsy.  I don't see it this way.   I see that I'm fortunate to have an awesome wife, I'm fortunate to have been able to go to University and have an awesome career,  I'm fortunate that I have the career that has allowed me to work with so many awesome people.  This career has allowed me to afford to pay for personal training to have shed 60 lbs and gave way to a healthier life.  Although my wife and I have to make trade offs & sacrifices to pay for training for me 3 times a week...I'm still fortunate.  I'm fortunate enough to be in shape to attempt to walk 5km.  I'm fortunate enough to honour Terry Fox and raise money for cancer. 

A number of people have asked me why I am doing a fundraiser for cancer as opposed to cerebral palsy.  That is a great question.  I believe that people need to look outside of their struggles and situation to help others with their struggles and situation… I want to help others that suffer from this disease and the families that support them.  Secondly, Terry Fox has always been a hero of mine, living a life to the fullest under extremely challenging circumstances.

A lot of people in my life suffer from cancer.  My uncle passed away from cancer a few years ago. I have another uncle that is battling 3 types of cancer.  I have friends & coworkers living with this disease.  These people are the real fighters, going through real hardships.

As a child, I spent a lot of time in the hospitals having surgery after surgery.  I would always think to myself that when I get past all the surgeries that I would live my life to the fullest.  I owe it to my awesome parents that have made a lot of sacrifices, my wife, friends and family, and charities and organizations who have all helped me have this awesome life.  It's my time to give back. This is my devotion.

Stubbornness is what started me to set this goal in the first place, to push myself physically.  Devotion to helping others have inspired me to push through tough times to achieve this so I can help others.  There is a thin line between stubbornness and devotion...and I find myself bouncing between the two sides throughout this journey.  In the spirit of the quote on my cousin's wall above their kitchen table...I've been given so much, I too must give...

The Journey Continues

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While watching a Terry Fox documentary the other week my wife made the statement, "Terry was stubborn, just like you!"

I disagreed at first, but did some reflective thinking.  I guess I'm the product of my environment.

Growing up in Essex County you get called the armpit of Ontario.  Dependant heavily on the automotive industry you go through a number of ups and downs.  Every time there is a downturn the city, the people show resilience to persevere and push forward.  Everytime we get knocked down, we get back up.  Everytime we get underestimated we prove them wrong.  We are made up of a blue collar work ethic that we never give up.  We become Essex County tough!

My parents worked many hours and made sacrifices to make sure I had the opportunity to have a fulfilled life.  They fought school boards, government officials, and still found time to give me a kick in the ass when I needed it.  My father working on rooftops in the most punishing weather to make sure his family would have what they needed.  Someone with a grade 8 education persevering and providing.  A mother who would never back down from a fight when it meant she would have to be told no a million times before hearing yes to integrate me in regular schools.  My parents were Essex County tough.

Growing up I was always told what I couldn't do.  Being born they told me I wouldn't live, I would not go to a 'normal' school, I would not be able to talk completely,  never go to University, never work, never find love, never walk...never...  Never ignited the Essex County toughness born inside of me.  Never was a motivation that pushed me further than I thought I could go.  I fell many times, but the blue collar work ethic instilled in me allowed me to pick myself up and try again.  Being knocked down is an opportunity to pick yourself up.  Life is not might not be easy...but I will out work any obstacle.  Bruises will be my badges of honour.

If being stubborn means being Essex County tough...then yeah, I guess I am...

The Journey Continues

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Staying focused...You remember why...

How do I stay focused?  I remember why...

I'm doing the Terry Fox walk because:

  • I remember losing loved ones to cancer
  • I remember friends who have had to live with cancer
  • I remember friends with loved ones dying from cancer
  • I remember these same loved ones have to continue to live when their loved one passes on from cancer
  • I remember...

The Journey Continues...

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Living in the 'Now'

The past is the reason for who we are.  The future is what we hope we will be.  No matter what we do with the future it will happen.  Enjoy where you are now in this journey of life.  Now is time to rejoice who you are.  Now is time to enjoy the experiences.  Now is living...


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