As Don Wells prepares for his final Journey of Hope for Cancer, the Wallaceburg native feels overwhelmed by the amount of public support he has received.
“Almost everywhere I go, people are anxious to help in any way they can,” he said. “It’s a lot of work and I get really tired sometimes, but it makes me feel better knowing how many people care. The people in Wallaceburg and Walpole Island have been great.”
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The 64 year old, who is suffering from Stage 4 prostate cancer, will embark from downtown Wallaceburg June 28 at 10 a.m. for a round trip from to Owen Sound on an electric scooter.
“I turn 65 on June 29, so I thought I should get the trip started before I reach retirement age,” he said.
The trip is more than 600 kilometers and could be done in a single day with a car, but Wells estimates he won’t be back until July 11.
“We’re not taking a lot of the main highways and we will be making a lot of stops, so it’s going to take us longer.”
E-bike firms in Owen Sound and Lions Head, as well as E-Plus in Wallaceburg, are donating vehicles for the trip.
“Robert Browning (of E-Plus) has been great. He said if we have any problems, he would come out to wherever we are to service the scooter.”
Don will be staying in campgrounds along the way and all but two of them have donated a space for the night. He will be accompanied by a van that will hold camping supplies and food for the trip.
Don has been a fixture at No Frills and Canadian Tire in Wallaceburg for the past several weeks as he seeks donation to cover gas and supplies.
“Whatever we don’t use on the actual trip will be given to the Canadian Cancer Society,” he said. ‘They’ve given us donation envelopes to use along the route. I can’t thank No Frills and Canadian Tire enough for allowing us to sit at their stores.
Don was a resident of Owen Sound for a number of years. Last year he raised several thousand dollars for an Owen Sound soup kitchen and homeless shelter as he took an electric scooter from that city to Ottawa in time for Canada Day.
“I’m doing radio, television and newspaper interviews when I go up to pick up the scooters,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of good memories of that area.”
Don had hoped to take an E-bike across Canada, but progression of the cancer has made that impossible.
“I just get too tired and I have to be at the hospital in London regularly.”
The Toronto Dominion Bank is accepting donations for Don’s Journey. Donations can be made through Branch 3792 to account 5206489.
For more information, Wells can be reached at 519-328-1363 or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org