(WINDSOR, ON) – In 2015, Windsor-born photographer Don Martel cycled from Vancouver to Halifax to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer Societies across Canada. This year, Martel will again challenge himself and the Canadian elements.
With only his bike and a backpack filled with survival gear, including his camera, Don Martel will travel approximately 7,000 kilometers, raising awareness and donations for the Alzheimer Society of Windsor and Essex County. His personal goal is to raise $50,000 and complete his journey in two and half months.
“Cycling was never my thing, I kind of fell into it,” said Martel. “Having someone special in my life who was dealing with lost memories, I knew I had to do the ride for her and everyone affected by dementia.”
An estimated 564,000 Canadians are living with dementia, with over 7,480 living in Windsor and Essex County. The total is expected to increase to 937,000 in 15 years.
Martel departs from Windsor Airport on June 1 at 5pm, destined for the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway in the Northwest Territories. His journey will end in Essex County at Point Pelee.
“After writing my book about the journey, I have gotten to know the folks at the Windsor Alzheimer’s Society,” Martel said. “Seeing all the good things they do for our community, I knew I needed to do more to help raise funds for local programs.”
Martel hopes to complete the trek by August 18.
“The Alzheimer Society is truly amazed and grateful for Mr Martel’s courage to take on such an epic journey to bring awareness to this terrible disease,” said Peggy Winch, the manager of fund development and community engagement at ASWE. “The funds will allow us to bring relief to our local families through our programs and services.”