Bill Ray is walking about 650-km in memory of his son and to raise funds and awareness for the Chilldren’s Wish Foundation.

To Brian: One step at a time — love, dad

Grieving dad starts walking from Port Hardy to raise funds for sick kids

Bill Ray wants to raise $50,000 to make children’s wishes come true — and he plans to do it one step at a time.

The 49-year-old Maple Ridge man began a 650-km journey last week that began in Port Hardy and is scheduled to finish in Burnaby at the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada

“I’m hoping I can get a dollar from every working person between here and Burnaby so I can reach my goal,” said Ray, who lost his son, Brian, 15 years ago to cancer.

“He died when he was just nine-years-old,” said the dad, whose eyes become red with emotion while talking about his boy.

The Children’s Wish Foundation made it possible for Brian to visit Disneyland before he died.

“It meant everything to him,” Ray said.

“He got to play with the dolphins and do other things during his week there.”

Ray said he never forgot that kindness weeks before his son passed away and wants to do something for the foundation that helped Brian realize his dream.

“It’s just something I gotta do to give back,” said Ray.

“I’m doing it in Brian’s honour and of course to honour the children who are still fighting to beat their cancers.”

It’s fitting, perhaps, that he is starting his trek at the beginning of March, which has been designated as Children’s Wish month.

“This is a very personal healing thing for him, as well as supporting the Children’s’ Wish Foundation,” said Kim Antiffaef, fundraising coordinator for the foundation.

Each year, thousands of Canadian children between the ages of three and 17 are diagnosed with a life threatening illness.

This year the Children’s Wish Foundation expects to grant 1,000 new wishes.

While the foundation is proud of the fact it never once turned down a child, it can use donations.

“We definitely are in need and have kids waiting for wishes all the time,” said Antiffaef.

With only a knapsack filled with clothing and an extra pair of New Balance runners, Ray started his trek south from Port Hardy Thursday and plans to get on the old Island Highway from Campbell River.

He’ll make his way to Victoria, then to the ferry before he walks the last leg of his journey to Burnaby.

“I’ve never done anything like this,” said Ray.

“But I want to raise awareness about the Children’s Wish Foundation and raise funds for it.”

Those wishing to donate to Ray’s cause — and to learn more about it — can do so securely online by logging on at www.wishmonth.ca, and then clicking on Brian’s Walk for Wishes.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Hardy RCMP discuss reconciliation with First Nations

The RCMP “want to be emotionally respectful of the past while still trying to uphold the laws.”

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

Claims already being staked after GeoScience BC report released

In the first 15 days following the report, a total of 34 new claims were staked.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Waulkwass River

A kingfisher and some trumpeter swans came by close enough to get a few shots.

Port Hardy RCMP investigating drug offences

Both vehicle occupants may face future charges related to the suspected drugs and cash.

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

Most Read