Sunday, December 18, 2011

Making a Difference

On Friday, November 25, 2011 I had the privilege of participating as a medal bearer for the along with some amazing employees of the Thames Valley District School board.

25 years ago Rick Hansen wanted to make the world more accessible and inclusive and to find a cure for spinal cord injury. Inspired by a deep-seated belief that anything is possible, Rick's dream took shape in the form of the Man In Motion World Tour. For 26 months he and his team wheeled over 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries, raising awareness of the potential of people with disabilities. The completion of this epic Tour was a testament to willpower, physical prowess and the ability to lead a seemingly impossible campaign. It was the beginning of a lifelong and selfless journey to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Through the Foundation that bears his name, more than $250 million has been raised to accelerate progress towards a cure for SCI, and a more accessible and inclusive world.

Twenty-five years to the date of his Man In Motion World Tour commencing its historic cross-Canada journey back to British Columbia, Canadian hero Rick Hansen wanted to continue his journey of making the world more accessible and inclusive with the announcement of the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay.

Beginning on August 24, 2011 in Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador - the easternmost point in North America and approximately 15 kilometres south-east of St. John's - the 25th Anniversary Relay retraces the Canadian segment of the original Tour, but this time one man in motion is represented and celebrated by many in motion; engaging 7,000 participants from across Canada who have made their own difference in the lives of others.

In every province, Relay Medal-Bearers pass along the Rick Hansen Medal - produced by the Royal Canadian Mint, 

Focusing on engaging Canadians to take up the challenge and become catalysts for positive change, the Relay features Medal-Bearers who run, walk, wheel or bike and complete their segments through a variety of forms of movement for all abilities.

I had the honour of receiving the medal here in London at the Children's hospital and carried my segment until Wellington Road. Lennie, Lindsay, Jamie, Andrea and Carrie all walked with me during my time with the medal.  I was very choked up the entire time because I got passed the medal in the very hospital that told me I had cancer 10 month earlier.  What a feeling to be well and able to participate as a "difference maker"

My participation has me continually asking "if I am making a difference" I sure hope so.  In my role as teacher, friend, administrator and colleague, my hope is that by my actions of positivity, focus and hard work, that I am modelling for everyone that you can make a difference. 

Funny how the quote under my signature at work for 10 years was, "to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world" - amazing how stuff eventually makes sense to you.