May 31

May 31st, 2007

It was nice to finish May strongly. There was nothing exciting to report about today’s skate. I started near Cole Island (roughly half way between Moncton and Fredericton). By lunch time, I had covered over 60 km! Ironically, I stopped for lunch at a gas bar in Oromocto where we had stopped on our way to Newfoundland nearly a month ago! After a short power nap, I was back on the smooth road with great conditions, once again. It was less than an hour before I arrived in Fredericton. Here’s where the story gets interesting.

 

Only a few days ago, my cousin, Jeff, in the Niagara region had sent me an e-mail asking me if I needed any connections in Fredericton. I thought Jeff should know by now that I need all the connections I can get! So it turns out that Jeff has a friend in the city who is a teacher. It didn’t take long before I got an e-mail from Cynthia introducing herself and letting me know that she was working on a few things for me. I was pretty excited to think that I’d have a place to stay and a hot shower when I got into Fredericton. But Cynthia’s subsequent e-mails astounded me. She had arranged for St. Thomas University to give us 2 hotel rooms for 2 nights with laundry facilities, free of charge. She had also arranged to have me meet with a few elementary classes (which will be tomorrow) to share my experiences, thus far. And to top it off, Cynthia’s cousin is the Promotional Manager with Boston Pizza for all of Atlantic Canada, and they were preparing a reception for me at the restaurant!

 

Since I was way ahead of schedule for the day, I figured I should stop in to Boston Pizza in the afternoon before coming back in the evening for the reception. I just wanted to meet the staff ahead of time and see what they had in mind for later on. After checking in at St. Thomas and having an extra long shower (I haven’t showered since leaving Charlottetown!), we headed back to Boston Pizza where the staff graciously welcomed me in. There was a table set up where customers could make donations and sign a message to me. I also setup my laptop so people could see my photos from the trip, so far. After a fantastic dinner, courtesy of Boston Pizza, Katie Chapman (Community Relations Co-ordinator) called me up on a chair so the entire restaurant could see and hear her as she presented me with the money donated by staff and customers. It was a significant contribution, and I can only imagine what it would have been like if my cousin would have e-mailed me weeks ago to let me know about Cynthia! Hopefully I’ll be able to arrange similar events in the various cities as I continue on. The more exposure and awareness I can create, the closer we all are to a cure!

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