Long cross-Canada longboard trek concludes without a primary person
The last legs of a long cross-Canada skateboard trek that came through Duncan Saturday were bittersweet for Michael Floyd.
He was thrilled an epic journey that began on May 14 in St. John’s, Newfoundland was coming to an end, but only wished his son Brandon Harrison could have been there.
The pair set out together to raise awareness and funds under the banner of Long For Life, a non-profit organization supporting children’s cancers, Heart and Stroke initiatives and living life through public participation events in the sport of longboarding.
Harrison, now 20, wasn’t there to finish the event after suffering another brain aneurysm in Lake Louise, Alberta.
“At two years old, he had cancer. He beat that,’’ said Floyd. “At 15 years old, he had his first brain aneurysm. Completely unrelated, he’d dealt with a lot of paralysis and blindness. That came back. At 17, he had another one.’’
The idea for the trek started at Harrison’s insistence about a year ago.
“He said he’d really like to cross the country for cancer and for heart and stroke initiatives, being he’s had to battle those things himself,’’ said Floyd.
Everything was going well on the trek when the aneurism struck Harrison.
“He’s fully paralyzed on his left-hand side,’’ said Floyd. “He’s battling back through that. He’s now in the Foothills Hospital (Calgary) and we’re moving forward to complete this trek,’’ said Floyd Saturday in Duncan on the approach to Victoria for the finale.
Harrison was with his dad in spirit.
“That’s the mandate that we set is no matter what we must finish this,’’ said Floyd. “We believe he’ll be fine, that in the end he’ll get better and in the spring he’ll finish this himself as well, but we’re one day away from finishing it.’’
Floyd hooked up with Kelsey Crozier, owner of Switchback Longboards in Nanaimo, and picked up a few extra people to make the last stages of the journey with him from Nanaimo to Duncan and then from Duncan to the finish in Victoria Sunday.
“He’s arranged a whole bunch of riders to come ride with us and finish this thing out,’’ explained Floyd.
“It’s getting that support from the community that’s just been so phenomenal and we’re so grateful for that.’’
More details on the trek, Harrison, fundraising and more here.