One of the things that sets the Canuck Place Adventure Race apart from similar events is the ability of entire families to participate together. This year’s event will see redesigned kids’ and adaptive courses, as well as a new teen challenge.
For some Canuck Place families, the annual Adventure Race also gives them an opportunity to work together to fundraise and train for the event while honouring a child. Amy Ross knows this first-hand after participating in 2014’s Adventure Race with her son, sister, niece, and nephew.
“What was the most special part about this race was that my seven year-old son, James, was able to take part in the kids race,” said Amy. “He has such fond memories of Canuck Place and felt very empowered to raise funds in honour of his late sister, Gabrielle.”
Gabrielle was born in 2010 with a terminal genetic disorder called I-Cell. After three years with her family, Gabrielle passed away at Canuck Place, surrounded by her three brothers.
“We couldn’t cure our daughter. All we could do was love her and be the best parents we could be,” said Amy.
Canuck Place enabled the Ross family to just be together as a family, knowing that Gabrielle’s complex medical needs were being taken care of.
“Canuck Place gave us nuggets of hope every time we were there that allowed us to put our best foot forward as parents, caregivers, and regular people going about life,” said Amy. “ I will always give thanks to Canuck Place for supporting us and helping us navigate the ins and outs of loving and parenting a child with a rare and incurable disease and preparing to one day say goodbye.”
“Canuck Place was the only place that could support a family like ours.”
“As soon as we stepped in the doors during our respite stays, I always felt an overwhelming feeling of gratitude knowing we weren’t walking this very emotional, lonely and exhausting path on our own,” she said. “Our respite stays at Canuck Place gave our family a chance to relax and feel like a normal family.”
When parents need to devote their time to caring for sick children, they often fear their other children will feel forgotten. Canuck Place ensures the entire family feels welcome.
“Canuck Place made them feel loved and special,” said Amy. “With a very busy mom and dad who spend most of their time and energy focusing on Gabrielle, Canuck Place always made sure the siblings were well taken care of.”
In the end, Amy raised $1,950, while her son, James, raised over $1,300 competing in the Kids’ course. An impressive total to be sure, but just as importantly, Amy, James, and the rest of their family were able to honour their sister while banding together to support each other.
“James felt very empowered fundraising for Canuck Place,” said Amy. “It gave him a chance to share why Canuck Place was special to him, and to reflect on all the reasons why Canuck Place needs the support”
Learn more about signing up for the 2015 Adventure Race, or supporting a participant or team at canuckplaceadventurerace.ca.