Father's double lung transplant inspires local man to walk from Calgary to Edmonton
EDMONTON -- Chris Sadleir is about to embark on a journey.
For 11 days in August, he'll traverse 330 kilometres from Calgary to Edmonton, and he’s doing it the old-fashioned way: with one foot in front of the other.
The fundraiser is called Walk to Breathe, and his inspiration for doing it comes from a personal place.
“Four years ago my father had a double lung transplant due to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis,” said Chris, who is an employee of Bell Media.
There is no known cause for his father's illness.
"The initiative is one thing but actually following through and the planning and the raising of sponsors, the scheduling, there's been a lot of work for the last six months it's really quite impressive and we're really proud of what he's been doing,” said Chris's father, Rob Sadleir.
Chris also wants to spotlight the importance of organ donation, something near and dear to the Sadleirs' hearts.
"If my father didn't have a donor, then you know, the family doesn't have a grandpa or a father so it's very important,” said Chris.
"Everybody could use more organ donors,” said Rob. “You can have all the science and everything else you want, but if you don't have the organs to use then you're going to lose people.”
Chris’s month-long preparation included rounding up sponsors. One Edmonton company even offered up an RV which will act as the support vehicle for the demanding journey.
Fortunately, Chris’s parents will literally be behind him every step of the way.
“It is something we're doing together. Over 11 days in an RV with my parents,” he said, laughing.
He’s already raised over $15,000 dollars of his intended $22,000 goal. It’s a symbolic amount, because humans take an average of 22,000 breaths each day. Funds raised will go to the Lung Association of Alberta and the Northwest Territories
Chris estimates it will take approximately 462,000 steps to complete his walk. It's a small sacrifice compared to what his father and others will go through.
"And you think about trying to take a breath and not get one,” said Rob while fighting back tears. “It's quite scary."
Chris's journey runs Aug. 7-17. You can donate to the fundraiser online.