Big Bike riding to big goals
The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Big Bike takes off with a full load from St. Mary’s Hospital on June 23. The Camrose St. Mary’s team raised $3,000. Leah Simonot/Postmedia Network
In the spirit of stroke awareness month, St. Mary’s Hospital staff took a ride on a one-ton, 30-seater bicycle.
As they climbed aboard the crazy contraption, Big Bike driver Don Baldwin reminded them to keep three contact points affixed to the bike at all times, and to be proud for having completed the most important part of the ride: raising over $3,000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation on June 23.
“They do all the important work before they get to the bike. The bike is really just a good excuse to build community and maybe challenge other communities to make a difference themselves,” said Baldwin.
Last year, more than 70,000 riders in over 200 communities across Canada raised upwards of $8 million for research last year.
Baldwin, who drives one of two Alberta bikes, is passionate about the work it encourages in communities. Both his parents suffered strokes and while his mother’s was fatal, his dad was able to recover.
“He’s out on his own again and that’s due to the fact that people like you have fundraised and made a difference, so I thank you for my dad.”
Stroke survivor Craig Wood was the Saint-Mary’s Hospital team’s first-place fundraiser. Wood suffered a stroke on Oct. 11, 2017 and continues to feel its effects in many aspects of his day-to-day life.
“I have no feeling in my left hand and side much. I can’t feel temperature, like hot and cold, so that way I have to be a little more cautious. I can’t do things like I like to and I’m always tired. It is better than I was but I’m not still fully recovered yet. It will be a while,” said Wood.
Fundraising for the Heart and Stroke foundation contributes towards advancements in research, prevention, treatment, recovery and advocacy.
“I don’t know if there’s enough support. Probably could use more just like everything else but it’s good to see there’s lots of people here today,” said Wood. “It’s awesome.”