Cyclist Utopia finds happiness in raising funds for children with cancer

For the second year, David Walsh aims to travel 1,000 kilometers and raise $ 5,000 as part of a fundraiser supporting the SickKids Foundation

It’s been 10 years since David Walsh nearly lost his life after crashing his motorcycle on a group ride near Cookstown.

Walsh, who suffered a head trauma as a result of the accident, spent more than a month in a coma, followed by lengthy rehab to relearn how to perform even the most mundane tasks. and due to persistent health issues such as frequent migraines, fatigue, and short-term memory problems, he was unable to resume his work as an outdoor educator.

Instead, the Utopia resident spends his time cleaning up his community and raising money for charity.

“While walking my dog, I noticed a lot of garbage on the side of the road and a few cans of beer, and thought I should pick them up. I took the dog home, took a cart and started picking up the trash, ”Walsh said. Barrie today.

On the first morning, Walsh said he picked up 100 cans of beer, six bags of trash and five or six bags of recycling.

This year, he says he has already cleaned more than 1,000 beer cans on his route alone from people who drink and drive and dump their voids on the side of the road.

The money from all the cans he collects is used to raise money for the Great cycling challenge to benefit the Sick Kids Foundation, where Canadians of all ages and abilities challenge themselves to pedal throughout August to fight childhood cancer. Since its launch in 2016, the event has seen cyclists from across Canada travel a total of 12,580,838 kilometers and raise $ 21,612,147 to support research aimed at developing treatments and finding a cure for childhood cancer.

Before his accident, Walsh said he didn’t really like cycling, but admitted that it has since become a great way to not only stay active, but also to help calm his mind.

“There’s so much going on in the head of an injured brain that when I get out on my bike it all just fades away. I can just go. It helps me relax and I use it as a means of mindfulness meditation which is one of the rehab things I have learned over the past 10 years.

This is Walsh’s second year competing in the challenge, after covering 1,000 kilometers and raising $ 5,000 last year. This year, he plans to repeat that accomplishment.

“I lost both of my parents to cancer within two months (apart) in 2010. Childhood cancer, there is nothing worse. I do this selfishly to feel better about myself because I’m not working. So I make my street a better place (by cleaning it up) and fundraising for childhood cancer, ”he said. “I saw an ad on Facebook about the Great Cycle Challenge. … When I clicked on it it said “bike, childhood cancer, fundraiser” and that was all I needed to hear. “