Sam Wade and his sidekick Luke Galvani have clocked up an amazing 650 kilometres in the name of charity.
The pair have burned rubber and sweated buckets in all kinds of weather during three consecutive Easter Seals 24-hour Relays in Victoria, Kelowna and Vancouver.
They’re now pushing to get their efforts to the $20,000 mark, all in aid of making sure kids with disabilities get the chance to take part in life-changing summer camp experiences.
But it wasn’t all plain sailing for Easter Seals on Wheels team Wade, 22, and wheelchair-bound Galvani, 19, during their marathon three weekends.
“The first relay in Victoria went very smoothly, with favourable weather conditions,” explained Wade, of Richmond.
“Nevertheless, it was a battle finishing the relay. It was not until I got home from the first relay I found my right foot had swollen up and I had difficulty walking, leading to me taking a few days off and using a cane for the following week.
“In the second relay, while I mostly stuck to using a manual chair, the harsh weather and the beating that Luke’s power chair was receiving took its toll, loosening some wires and leading it to malfunction. It was turning and spinning Luke without notice, making it entirely unsafe to drive.”
Wade had to then push Galvani until the problem was fixed.
“The last relay rained for the first half, and the conditions got so mucky that Luke had to refrain from taking the outside course after almost taking a dive in some grass,” added Wade.
“However we finished with the sun out and smiles on our faces.”
The triple-header of relays was the latest in a line of charitable endurance trips taken on by Wade, last year’s being a B.C. to Mexico bike ride.
“It’s hard to compare this experience to the past two bike trips,” said Wade.
“It was amazing to see the sense of community these relays bring, as so many inspiring people gather in one place.
“Everyone was very supportive of what we were trying to accomplish and it made the journey that much more meaningful. Watching Luke battle through the night in the worst of weather after experiencing all our setbacks really inspired me.”
The pair is still collecting donations and hoping to reach $20,000. You can donate at www.eastersealsonwheels.ca.