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

Oak Bay couple honoured for 35 years volunteering

Mayor awards distinguished Oak Leaf to Bert and Doris Dinsmore

Hospital foundation president praises generosity of Peninsula residents

Karen Morgan said support during COVID-19, financial and otherwise, has been touching

Meet the Liberal candidate for Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Roxanne Helme about ‘governance, not politics’

New Democrats on Saanich Peninsula still looking to announce candidate

While BC Liberals have nominated Stephen Roberts, New Democrats have not yet announced candidate

UPDATED: West Shore RCMP locate dangerous, ‘high-risk sex offender’ thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Most Read