Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Update - Cross Canada Motorcycle Ride
For Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness

Living liver donor Robert E. Crawford and recipient Marilyn Olivo-Crawford are motorcycling across Canada July 21st to August 16th and I’m pleased to support this initiative to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation.

Robert says that access to the internet is difficult to find at times but he will do his best to keep us updated. His most recent report is below. For a complete chronology of the ride click here.

August 5th
The ride team rode to Terrace Bay from Sault Ste. Marie (408KM). There were no scheduled events planned today and that made the ride easier as we didn’t have to meet a deadline. This stop was possibly going to be bypassed but Marilyn needed the rest.

We stayed at a motel on the main strip of Terrace Bay. Check in to the motel was at the gas bar. Talk about multi tasking at its best! The lady was taking money for gas, selling cigs, pop and chips and was dispensing towels to the patrons of the motel. Carolyn was impressed!

The trucks were whizzing by and helped to “lull” us to sleep. Marilyn & Shelley were on the second floor of the motel. The balcony had a serious tilt and there were holes in the concrete that needed Mike Holmes.

During the night we heard someone mention outside our window, “That’s a 1200 Bandit”. Rob perked up and wanted to make sure his “baby” was O.K. These locals we think, were just admiring the bike?

The beach was across the street and the view was spectacular. Lake Superior is so huge. We have been riding/driving 2 days and it is still on our left. Dinner was at a Chinese food restaurant and was surprisingly good. Afterwards we all were tired and didn’t have a problem falling to sleep in spite of the traffic noise and watching old black and white movies.

August 6th
The destination was Thunder Bay. We stopped just outside of Thunder Bay at the rest stop that has been dedicated to Terry Fox. The beautiful bronze statue was designed by an Oakville artist. Reading the memorial just made you realize what this young man was trying to achieve - very inspirational! We could see the “sleeping giant” in the distance and took many pictures.

We arrived about 2:30PM at the Lakehead University Residences. Once we drove around the campus 300 hundred times (Shelley and Carolyn gave us the scenic route) we found our rooms. We had a 4-room townhouse all to ourselves. This was provided at no cost thanks to Lindsay Crawford’s efforts.

In the evening we went out for dinner and then did a radio interview for AM640 based in Toronto. That was an interesting session as we were in a parking lot with cars driving by and a guy asking us for money during the interview.

We decided that we wanted to see a movie and had to divide and conquer. Marilyn, Shelley, Jacob and I saw the “Bourne Ultimatum” and Carolyn took Abigail to see “Underdog”. Just before the movie I thought my helmet had been stolen due to a communications breakdown. After freaking-out when I realized I didn’t have my helmet, I made a dash across the highway and even checked out the guy who asked us for money. I then interrogated the store attendants who had seen the helmet on the car but didn’t see any one “take it”. I went back to the movie theatre and was not in a good mood. What I didn’t realize was that Shelley and Carolyn had seen that I had left it on the trunk of the Chase vehicle and thought that was odd. I had it there during the interview. They put it in the trunk for safe keeping but forgot to mention it to me. We had a good laugh. Ha ha….

Back to the residence we all crashed out. Carolyn & Abbey got the short straws and slept on folding cots.

FYI - I must have been so tired. The cots were really comfortable and I had an amazing sleep!

August 7th
We knew we had a long day ahead of us. Marilyn went to do some laundry, Carolyn and Abbey went swimming at the Fitness Complex on the University property. It has been great seeing where our niece Lindsay attends University. Shelley did a coffee run and Jacob hung out and watched TV.

The Rotary Club and volunteers from the Trillium Gift of Life arranged for us to speak at a function in Thunder Bay for noon today. Marilyn & I gave our presentation on organ & tissue donation. The event was held at the Prince Arthur Hotel in downtown Thunder Bay. The Rotary Clubs do many great things in their communities and world wide. After the meeting we were interviewed by TV and the local newspaper. Jacob got interviewed for the TV station as well. He looked like a real seasoned performer while being asked questions. There were the required motorcycle shots and driving away shots to arrange.

Marilyn spoke with Gary Cooper, a retired OPP officer who received a liver transplant also by Dr. Lilly. They had a lot to speak about. While we were wrapping up, Carolyn took Abbey down to the Marina to see the boats and let her stretch her legs. We have 352 km to go to reach Dryden.

At 2:30PM we left for Dryden. It was a good ride full of great scenery and also some areas of clear-cutting. The devastation from the clear cutting is hard on the eyes. Looks like some controlled fires to thin out the areas makes for the landscape to look ravaged! There is a steady stream of trucks carrying logs eastward towards the mills.

Along the way we passed into the Central Time Zone and gained an hour. Great, we will take that! We arrived at about 7:00PM and some of us went for a swim in the hotel pool.

Carolyn and Shelley went cruising the strip to pick up some items. WalMart is the big store here. They shopped at some grocery stores and picked up some supper for the rooms. No whole roasted chickens to be found, but we had some chicken pot pies, salad and carrot sticks.

We are constantly drawing on the strength from one another, enjoying the children, learning even more about our family, the people and realizing how blessed we are to live in such a great country. We take every opportunity to speak about our “mission” and we gain strength from touching one person at a time.

We leave tomorrow at 9:00am for Winnipeg and another media event…. And for you “bear lovers” we will be seeing an area dedicated to none other than “Winnie the Pooh”…Abigail will love that!

Robert E. Crawford
Cross Canada Motorcycle Ride
Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness
Email Robert

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”

Download Donor Cards from Trillium Gift of Life Network

Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov

No comments: