Have you ever been inspired by a disabled person or athlete?
Comox-based father and son Ross and Hugh MacKinnon have been inspired by some local and Island disabled Canadians and are doing a fundraising half-marathon run (three loops of the Nautical Day’s four-miler route with an additional mile added on) with donations going to War Amps Canada.
Their mandate includes improving the quality of life for Canadian amputees/disabled Canadians by purchasing supportive equipment to allow Canadians to be able to try a sport or activity.
Three of those who inspired this fundraiser by demonstrating tremendous resilience and courage include current Canadian Paralympian Byron Green, a local G.P. Vanier Secondary school grad, who became a paraplegic after a high school mountain bike accident. He is currently in Japan, competing as a member of the Canadian Wheelchair Rugby team at the Paralympic Games.
Another G.P. Vanier grad and talented school and community soccer and basketball player, Julia Chisholm, became an amputee due to Stage 2 chondrosarcoma and went through seven years and 10 unsuccessful surgeries leading to amputation below her right knee in 2019. She says she got her life back, now works full-time for the Ministry of Health, models, auditions for movies and represents brands on the side. She has learned to run with a running blade, weight lifts, boxes, plays volleyball and basketball, hikes and swims. The best part, however, Chisholm explains, “has been helping others traverse the world as new amputees.”
Graham Giske from Nanaimo, a talented basketball player in high school and at Vancouver Island University, (after completing his education degree taught with Ross MacKinnon at a Sino-Canadian School in Shanghai, China) was hit on a motor scooter by a drunk driver resulting in a serious leg injury that led to leg amputation.
Returning to Nanaimo, Giske now teaches, counsels and coaches at Nanaimo District Secondary school inspiring students as well as fundraising for adaptive sports. He is married and he and his wife are happy new parents of a newborn son.
The MacKinnons are set to run on Aug. 27 (Hugh’s birthday) at 8 a.m., beginning and ending at the Comox Grind coffee shop.
Donations can be made at the Grind that day or online on Hugh MacKinnon’s Facebook Canadian War Amps fundraiser. Any donation is appreciated and tax receipts if donated online are available.
Other runners are welcome to do a one loop (four miles), two-loop (eight miles) or full half marathon run by donation to this special cause supporting The Canadian War Amps.