David DeWolfe and Oliver Boulais pause in Chestermere on their ride to raise funds for CF research
– Have you ever been passionate about something? Perhaps a hobby or being really, really good at your job? I had the pleasure the other day to meet with a young man who is passionate at more than one thing. His name is David DeWolfe and he lives in Calgary. His cousin Tracy Hudson lives right here in Chestermere and Tracy tipped me off to David’s adventure/quest. First off, passion 1: David is a piano teacher, who at even in his younger years, his parents had to tell him often to get off the piano and come for dinner or go to bed or go play with your friends outside. He teaches piano to several people now but there was one piano student who caught his attention. This boy’s name is Peter and he is your typical 7year old boy who has a condition that lies beneath his otherwise healthy look that most children his age look like. This youngster has a health condition known as Cystic Fibrosis or simply called CF in the age of acronyms. CF is a children’s disease that predominately damages the lungs and livers of the victim through the long drawn out buildup of thick, sticky mucus in their organs and tissue. Peter was not only the ideal piano student but also became almost what I could call a little brother, he taught David so much about how to embrace life and be thankful for what we have. Peter has since moved to California because the humidity there will help him live a few more years rather than if he lived in Alberta with our harsh weather.
Shortly after Peter moved away a very close family friend of David’s died at the age of 6 from this horrific disease. This is where David began to develop his second passion – and David put passion into action.
He and a friend decided to ride off across Canada in the hopes of raising funds, but mostly to raise awareness of this terrible disease. Obviously if more people are made aware, you have a better chance of raising funds to find a cure. Almost all of the pieces of the plan were in place when suddenly David’s friend decided not to partake in the ride. David was at wits end and almost in tears thinking he would have to do this long journey by himself; not going was not an option for David. In a last attempt to have a partner for David, he and his organizers placed an ad in the paper and low and behold, a gentleman by the name of Oliver Boulais came forward to help in the cause. Oliver is a university student who felt the need to help out. He had heard of CF but had never known anyone with the disease, but now was fully immersed in the cause and the cure.
I met David and Oliver at Ridley Cycle in the Kensington area where the duo brought their bikes in for a tune-up and for themselves, a much needed rest. The owners of Ridley Cycle, Ron Uhlenberg and Kristyn Hall generously donated the bikes to David and Oliver and on June 15th, the two dipped their toes into the ocean waters in Victoria BC and thus began their drive for the ride of their life – and actually the lives of those with afflicted CF. David and Oliver passed through Chestermere on June 28th and the Tracy was there to take some pictures and pass them along to me. They plan to finish their journey August 30 in Halifax Nova Scotia. There is a lot of planning that goes into a project of this magnitude. For example, the bikes, the equipment they will require along the way, food, vitamin and energy supplements and naturally accommodation. There must also be a means to communicate with followers, this is where Facebook comes in. There also needs to be a means of people who hear about David and Oliver and would like to help by donating, so they created a website to explain their journey, cystic fibrosis, how to donate and showcase their valuable sponsors. I found the website well done and informative. Take a few minutes to watch the video, enjoy the tunes and get inspired just like these two have. And have a look at all of the other sponsors the two have recognized for without them, the ride could be much more difficult. Now when you go to their website you may wander through some pages where there is a page that shows the trip in more detail; places where they expect to be on certain days. But also notice that these young men are often staying on the roadside in a ditch or have not been able to arrange for a night’s stay at the Inn. Here is another area where people can help out their cause besides donating. If you know of someone who can put these boys up for a night and give them a place to rest their weary heads, do it. Pay it forward as they say. Do it now and pass the info along to let them know. Check out this website below, you won’t be disappointed and you just may feel a part of the passion experienced by David and Oliver.