CHEK Upside: Sooke man preparing for second long-distance rollerblading fundraiser

CHEK Upside: Sooke man preparing for second long-distance rollerblading fundraiser

It’s the rollerblading journey of a lifetime.

“I’m just that kind of guy, if I say I’m going to do something I do it and nothing’s stopping me,” says Andrew Waddell.

Waddell has always harboured a love for his blades and rediscovered the sport as a pandemic pastime.

“I rollerbladed years ago when I lived in Vancouver and it’s just something I do for fun,” says Waddell.

“I lost 40 pounds in the last few months rollerblading, exercising and eating better,” adds Waddell.

Soon after his weight loss transformation, Waddell wondered if he could help others with his rollerblading road trips. That’s when he heard about 19-year-old Michael Jordison who was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

“I met him a few years back and we’ve been helping out with a few things with that and he’s an amazing young guy and I just figured he could use it [the help],” says Waddell.

So Waddell hit the road and bladed from Sooke all the way to Duncan and back, raising $3500 — a fundraiser that came as a welcome surprise for Jordison and his family.

“It’s amazing what he’s done for me,” says Jordison.

“The kindness of people that they’ve given is really helping me be able to do what I want to do, pay for a lot of things I need to pay for with my treatment and cancer and everything,” added Jordison.

“Every day, 30 times a day I’m like oh my gosh I can’t believe how crazy Andrew is,” laughs Michael’s mom Brenda.

Waddell’s journey is not stopping there.

On Labour Day weekend Waddell will make the trip to Campbell River and back to raise money for another Sooke family in need.

“I have another friend who has three young kids with autism,” says Waddell. “As of right now I already have $2500 raised and I haven’t even left Sooke yet.”

It’s the support from his community and the joy of helping others that keeps Waddell going.

“I knew that people would step up, [but] they’ve stepped up more than I thought,” says Waddell.

“There’s a lot of negativity out right now and if I can bring some smiles to a few people’s faces that’s what I’m going to do,” adds Waddell.

Any donations for Waddell’s latest fundraiser can be dropped off at the Sooke River Grill.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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