Bella Coola maintenance/mechanic, Tim Michalchuk has made it to Hope on his Million Steps walk to raise funds for his wife Shannon Dickson to have stem cell treatment for MS.
Tim set out from Prince George Apr. 2, and arrived in Hope Sunday night, Apr. 24, where he is taking today (Apr. 25) off to be with his family before making the push to Vancouver tomorrow morning.
Shannon and their children, Mavorneen, 7, and Peter, 4, met him in Hope.
“It’s sure nice to see the little ones and super nice to have Shannon here too,” Tim says. “We’ll take the kids to the park and let them play and enjoy the fresh air and I will enjoy sitting on my butt for a day.”
Tim’s goal is to raise $45,000 to $50,000 for expenses that will be involved in Shannon travelling to the U.S., U.K. or Mexico to participate in MS stem cell treatment trials.
While his efforts so far have only raised about $8,000, Tim says he has been very well received along his route, especially in the small towns such as Williams Lake.
He has had numerous television, radio and newspaper interviews along the route and donations of needed items such as shoes and a raincoat.
Averaging 45 to 50 kilometres a day, his walk has taken him South along Highway 97 through Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, Cache Creek, Savona, Kamloops, Falkland, Vernon, Kelowna, Westbank and then over the Coquihalla Highway to Merritt.
“I hit quite a bit of rain and some hail in Merritt but most of it came down after I had finished walking for the day,” Tim says.
Sunday he pushed 68 kilometres over the mountain from Merritt to Hope, arriving late in the evening where he met his family and the Slumber Lodge donated a room for the night.
A friend they met has paid for the family to stay in Hope tonight (Apr. 25) before Tim continues walking on to Vancouver tomorrow morning.
Tim says he plans to take the Highway 1 freeway to Mission then turn on to the Lougheed Highway for the last leg of the walk in to Vancouver.
He expects to be in Vancouver in four or five days, where he will meet up with Shannon again. His arrival will coincide with Shannon’s next visit to her doctor in Vancouver.
To keep fit for the walk, Tim says he stretches morning and evening before and after walking and every hour or so during the day.
“I had knee problems starting out but I think I’m in peak condition now,” Tim says.
More on Tim and Shannon’s story can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/kehkkd4k and on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/MillionStepsToSaveMyShannon.
“I can almost see the finish line,” Tim posted from Hope on their Facebook page.
“And the sad fact is…. I don’t think I lost a pound! Lol, anyway thanks again everyone. Your comments likes and shares don’t go unnoticed, and are both very encouraging and appreciated!!”