Rick Fall hopes to raise $300,000, splitting the money equally between Childhood Cancer Canada and Make-a-Wish Canada
Inspired by Canadian icons Terry Fox and Rick Hanson, an Ontario man runs across Canada to raise money for children suffering from cancer or other childhood illnesses.
Rick Fall, 61, began his journey on April 12 in Victoria, British Columbia, near his former hometown of Duncan. He expects to be ready by mid-August in his new hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. His goal is to run 100 marathons during this journey, a distance of almost 4,200 kilometers.
His “Fall-o Rick from Home to Home” campaign aims to raise $300,000, splitting the money equally between Childhood Cancer Canada and Make-a-Wish Canada. These goals have been close to Fall’s heart ever since Make-a-Wish Canada granted a wish to his cousin Danielle, 18, who later died of cancer several years ago.
“I just think cancer needs to be looked at from a child’s perspective, and there are too many childhood cancers that there hasn’t been enough research done on it,” Fall said. “I am a (now retired) substitute teacher; I have seen many children in the school system who have suffered or succumbed to uncared for cancers.
“Families and children need the extra help and money to get what they need to do.”
His mother also died of lung cancer in 2013.
Fall was in Morse, Sask., on May 31, when he spoke to the Moose Jaw Express by phone. He expects to be in Moose Jaw on Wednesday, June 2 in the afternoon.
Fall runs about 42 miles a day — or a full marathon — with the occasional day off. His wife Colette drives a support vehicle, while he usually runs 14 to 18 kilometers before resting for a while and then finishing the rest of his daily run.
“It’s going really well. Going through the mountains was tough on the hills. The weather has been on our side almost all the way,” he said. “I ran into some pretty high winds through eastern Alberta for a few days. Sometimes the headwinds get a little crazy, but it’s the Prairies, and I’m willing to slow down and get what I can do every day.”
Participating in marathons is old-fashioned for Fall as running is his passion, while he has competed in marathons in Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, Boston, Berlin and New York City.
Donations can be made through Fall’s website at fallorick.com. He has already raised more than $43,000. People can also track his progress there as he wears a GPS tracking device that shows where he is every 10 minutes.
Some Canadians have tracked down Fall using the GPS data, he said. A woman found him and his wife and gave them a dozen free-range eggs because she knew they needed that food source. Meanwhile, a couple who had met him in Victoria drove home to Thunder Bay, Ont., and met him in Herbert, Sask., stopping to chat.
Moose Javians can also use the GPS tracking system to discover where Fall will be when he arrives on June 2. He will probably end up at the Peanut Hills Campground in the evening.