The journey of three longboarders making their way from the Alberta border to Vancouver Island really began 17 years ago.
Easton Hays was born with a severe condition known as Gastroscisis and was in a Calgary hospital for the first six weeks of his life. But his parents Mike and Eideh lived in Pincher Creek, and had no money to afford hotel rooms to stay close to him.
Ronald McDonald House welcomed Easton’s parents with open arms.
“We appreciated it so much that this place is available,” father Mike Hays explained, as the boarders stopped in Grand Forks on their journey. “With Easton turning 18, we wanted to do something to give back.”
Easton’s friend Kieth Green suggested the boarding trip as a way of raising awareness and donations to help support Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada to help other families who need that same kind of help.
From the Alberta border to Tofino, Vancouver Island, the trio are facing a total of 1,250 kilometres. Day 8 found them in Grand Forks for a welcome day-long furlough—Kieth’s grandparents, Gary and Marnie Green, live here and provided warm beds and hot showers.
“We’ve slept under the stars, we’ve had a motel—tonight’s stop, we’ll be half-way to Osoyoos, we’ll just have to make a lean-to,” Mike said, explaining that to reduce weight, they gave up their tents.
“We are just carrying a water purifying pump so we can drink from any water source we pass, and we are mailing supplies to towns via general delivery to give us any needed items we don’t want to carry,” Mike said.
Their boards are handling the 50-kilometre-per-day trip well. An Australian company, Brakeboard, gave all three a set of disc brakes—invaluable on the mountainous roads.
“People have been honking and waving; they’re been amazingly helpful,” Easton said.
Their goal is to raise $50,000. The best way to donate is to go their Facebook page, Journey of Dreams. Under the “About Us” tab is a website link where donations can be made directly.
“Then there’s no question that the money is going to Ronald McDonald House,” Easton confirmed.
So give the Joureny of Dreams page a Facebook Like and a Share, and consider heading on the Ronald McDonald site to make a donation.
And why will their journey end in Tofino? They wanted to reward their efforts with an afternoon of surfing and sand. “A happy and worthwhile ending. An ending we wish for every family who is suffering the challenges of a child in the hospital.”