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Remembering his son: why a B.C. dad purchases birthday cakes for strangers

Mike Gee hopes others will do the same
Mike Gee held the first annual Seamus’ Stroll last year in memory of his late son in Campbell Valley Regional Park to raise funds for the Langley Foundry facility for youth mental health in memory of his late son (inset). On June 4, the second 3K walk will take place. (Langley Advance Times files)

This Oct. 23, as he has done for three years, Langley City resident Mike Gee will visit a local bakery and ask if there is a birthday cake that is waiting for pickup that day, because he would like to pay for it.

When Mike explains it’s his way of honouring the memory of his late son, Seamus, on what would have been his birthday, it can be an “emotional” moment for the people in the shop, he said.

“I’d be buying a cake for him, anyway,” Mike explained.

“I feel good doing it.”

He will leave a note for the person who ordered the cake explaining it’s for the #seamusgeebirthdaycakechallenge, something he would like to see other people take up to remember loved ones who have passed.

“I hope it catches on,” Mike remarked.

Since Seamus died, at the age of 16, on Oct. 27, 2019, Mike has become a tireless campaigner for mental health initiatives, including raising funds for Foundry Langley, which offers free and confidential access to mental health and substance use support for young people.

He founded the non-profit Seamus Gee Legacy Project that helps local students access trades programs, as well as community and school sports programs.

For Mike, his activism is “part of dealing with the loss. I find it therapeutic as part of my healing.”

READ ALSO: First annual ‘Seamus’ Stroll’ honours memory of Langley City teen

On Sunday, June 4, the second annual 3K Seamus’ Stroll will take place in Campbell Valley Regional Park, at 8th Avenue and 204th Street.

Registration will open at 10 a.m. with the walk scheduled to start at 11 a.m.

Advance registration online can be made on the Facebook “2023 Seamus’ Stroll” event page.

More information can be found at the “Seamus Gee Legacy Project” Facebook page.

There will be a by-donation barbecue, operated by Township of Langley firefighters.

Donations can be made at canada “Seamus’ Stroll for a Stronger Community” or brought in person the day of the event. Donations will be accepted until June 11.

An online memorial described Seamus as “a kind, gentle soul with a massive heart [who] was courageous and delightfully brilliant, a lover of all animals and nature, he was adventurous and had a very curious mind.”

Mike wants Seamus to be remembered as a helpful, caring kid “who would help out classmates with projects, [and do] the same with his friends. If they needed a shoulder, he was there for them.”

“I don’t want him to be forgotten,” Mike said.

“Nobody should be.”

#seamusgeelegacyproject #seamusstroll #foundrylangley #foundry

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Foundry Langley opens to provide youth health services

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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