Colwood’s Alf Todd, centre, and group of family members and supporters, were heading to Port Alberni on their bikes on Aug. 11 in a one-day trip as a fundraiser for Parkinson’s disease. In the rear, from left, are Todd’s grandson Bret Schuuman, supporter Andy Robinson, Todd’s cousin David Peters and daughter Cindy Todd. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Alf Todd on a mission to fight Parkinson’s disease

Todd and group hope to raise $10,000 riding bikes to Port Alberni

Colwood’s Alf Todd said last year that it was probably the last time he would make the 190-kilometre journey from his home to Port Alberni on his bike in one day.

But the 68-year-old, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease about 13 years ago, was pedaling through Duncan on Aug. 11 once again. Joined by some family members and supporters he was on his way to Port Alberni to raise awareness of the disease and money to help fund research to cure it.

This is the third year in a row he has taken the arduous journey to Port Alberni, on top of several other long-distance bike rides, including ones to Port Hardy and even San Francisco.

RELATED STORY: COLWOOD RESIDENT RAISING FUNDS, AWARENESS OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE

Todd has helped raise more than $40,000 for the cause since he began riding, and he hopes to raise at least $10,000 more on his trip on Aug. 11.

“It’s certainly a lot of kilometres to travel in one day, especially considering having to climb ‘The Hump’ just before you get to Port Alberni,” he said as the small group stopped for a quick rest in front of Experience Cycle on the Trans Canada Highway in Duncan Tuesday morning.

“It’s a challenge, but it’s my way to help other ‘Parkies’. We hope to get to Port Alberni at about 6 p.m. and then we’ll go out to eat and rent a hotel room for the night.”

Todd was originally diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement, about 13 years ago.

Symptoms, such as tremors, start gradually and can result in stiffness and slowing of overall movement.

There is no cure yet, but people who regularly exercise and have a “can-do” attitude, like Todd, can sometimes keep the worst effects of the disease at bay for years.

RELATED STORY: B.C. WOMAN DESCRIBES STATE-OF-THE-ART PARKINSON’S TREATMENT AS ‘MIRACULOUS’

Wendy Murray is the facilitator for the Parkinson’s Support Group in the Cowichan Valley, and she rode with Todd and his group of supporters for some distance north of Duncan on the journey.

She also rode with him in 2017 on the bike trip between Victoria and Port Hardy that raised $24,000.

“Alf is an amazing person and these fundraisers are very important in the fight against Parkinson’s disease,” Murray said.

“Non-profit groups like the Headway Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre, which Alf is raising money for, are very dependent on fundraisers like this, especially this year when a lot of charities are finding it hard to raise money during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Todd had raised approximately $5,500 by Tuesday morning and he is hoping that he exceeds the $10,000 he is aiming for.

To donate, go to Canada Helps, Alf’s Ride.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

fundraiser

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Community celebrates new mural at the entrance to Harbour Quay

The image depicts the history of Tseshaht First Nation

Drive-by Port Alberni Toy Run records 300 riders

The Langley Chapter of Harley Owners Group donated $2,000

Go By Bike Week goes virtual in Port Alberni

Celebration of cycling will take place from Sept. 28 to Oct. 4.

New seniors’ housing complex proposed for Port Alberni

Developers targeting more active seniors, offering ‘age in place’ model

Upgrade on the books for contentious intersection in Port Alberni

Province promises survey, changes at Beaver Creek and River Roads in 2021

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Majority of Canadians support wearing masks during COVID-19, oppose protests: poll

Nearly 90 per cent felt wearing a mask was a civic duty because it protects others from COVID-19

Paper towel in short supply as people stay home, clean more, industry leader says

While toilet paper consumption has returned to normal levels, paper towel sales continue to outpace pre-COVID levels

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Most Read