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

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

COVID-19 isn’t cancelling this year’s Tour de Rock

Alumni riders will cycle relay sections in their own communities

POLL: Can B.C. hold a provincial election safely during a pandemic?

Can B.C. hold a provincial election safely during a pandemic?… Continue reading

Trail proposed to connect Cedar and Yellow Point

Regional director says project fits with active transportation goals

Woodgrove Centre posts plans to make masks and temperature checks mandatory

Mall advises in letter to customers that rules will come into effect Monday, Sept. 21

Protesters march in Nanaimo, calling for greater protection of forests and watersheds

March for the Forests happened downtown on Friday afternoon

Nanaimo residents ticketed for putting out garbage bins the night before pickup

Conservation officers say they issued seven tickets this week, as warnings weren’t having an impact

Accused in Makayla Chang’s murder sees next court date in October

Steven Michael Bacon faces first-degree murder charge in killing of Nanaimo teen

Regional District of Nanaimo looks to create its own flag

Staff created makeshift flag earlier this year for a conference that ended up getting cancelled

Nanaimo senior defrauded out of $14,000 in ‘grandson scam’

80-year-old victim was told her grandson was out-of-province and in legal trouble

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Conservation officers free fawn stuck in fence in Nanaimo

Fawn was uninjured after getting caught in fence in Hammond Bay area Wednesday

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

One person dead in two-vehicle accident in North Island

Highway 19A was closed for several hours north of Courtenay following the crash

Most Read