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)

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

Gregory Ould, co-founder and executive director of Blanket BC, drops off warming blankets to Our Home on Eighth shelter in Port Alberni during a tour of Vancouver Island on Feb. 19, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Blanket BC delivers warmth, hope to Vancouver Island’s homeless

Gregory Ould donated blankets, toques in five communities

Construction takes place on Bamfield Main in early February 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY CTV NEWS)
Closures planned for Bamfield Road

Construction by Mosaic unrelated to $30M upgrade

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Alberni Valley’s Emergency Operations Centre is located around the corner and below the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District office. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District tests new mobile alert system

Residents can still sign up for free Voyent Alert! emergency messaging

Crews respond to a structure fire in the 6000 block of Renton Road in Cherry Creek on Saturday, Feb. 27. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Workshop destroyed in Cherry Creek fire

Crews stayed on scene overnight fighting ‘stubborn’ blaze

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Most Read