Edson teenager cycling to Edmonton to raise money for Stollery
Published Saturday, September 22, 2012 3:19PM MDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 22, 2012 6:36PM MDT
A teenager from Edson is making his way to Edmonton by bicycle – all in an effort to raise money for the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
Sixteen-year-old Alex Westfal took off on his bike from Edson Saturday morning at 9 a.m.
He’s cycling along Highway 16 all the way to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in an effort to raise money and awareness for the hospital which he says saved his brother’s life.
“The Stollery has helped many families including my own and my friend’s and friends of my family also,” Westfal told CTV News on the phone, after pulling in to a rest station along Highway 16 Saturday afternoon.
Westfal’s eight-year-old brother Christopher has a respiratory virus, and severe sleep apnea. He had been in and out of the Stollery for most of early life and his family credits the hospital for helping him survive.
“Christopher had to be hospitalized for a week on oxygen and it was a very bad situation for our whole family and the Stollery not only takes care of the patients, it takes care of the whole family as well and they’re just a first-class organization,” said Westfal’s mother Gerrilynn Curda.
Curda is also taking part in Westfal’s journey – she’s following along behind Westfal in a car with his girlfriend.
“It’s a slow pace but we’re just making sure he is safe,” Curda said.
Curda says she was surprised when her son told her his idea to bike from Edson to Edmonton for the Stollery.
“I was just floored,” Curda said.
“This is not something that your average teenager does and he knew that he was not going to benefit in any way from this and he wanted to do it anyway.”
Westfal enjoys biking, and says the trip so far hasn’t been too difficult.
“There’s a couple of steep hills and hard hills to get up but on the other side there’s normally a nice hill you can cruise down and the vehicles blow a nice breeze and gives you a good push if the breeze is strong enough,” he said.
Westfal hoped to raise at least $1,500 for the hospital – and by Saturday afternoon he had reached that goal.
The group plans on camping in Wabamun for the night – and finishing the trip to the Stollery on Sunday.
Anyone would who like to donate to 'Alex’s Ride for the Stollery' can do so by using the Stollery reference ID # IF-0534.