Adam Williams – Kamloops This Week
The excitement was audible in Edward “Fast Eddy” Dostaler’s voice.
In Ottawa on the back half of the There and Back run — an across-Canada-and-back journey that began on March 1, 2015, in Victoria — Dostaler could hardly believe he had been recognized in the House of Commons by Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod just days before.
McLeod waved to Dostaler at the end of a statement, which recognized his journey and encouraged Canadians to support him, and MPs in the house stood and gave their applause.
“Words can’t describe,” he continued. “You start to get a concept that you are making a difference.”
Dostaler spoke to KTW on Day 417 of his journey, which has already taken him across Canada once and should see him return to the West Coast later this year.
The 22,000-kilometre trek is an effort to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer research.
The trip to the nation’s capital was a morale-boosting one, Dostaler said. In addition to being recognized in Parliament, the runner spent time speaking at schools around the city, doing fun-runs with kids and even going for a jog with the Speaker of the House and a handful of MPs. He met with Conservative Party interim leader Rona Ambrose and former prime minster Stephen Harper.
The newest part of the There and Back run, visits to schools throughout his journey, were a hit in Ottawa, too, as they have been elsewhere.
Dostaler has spoken at nearly 70 schools across the nation, talking to students about his journey, the impacts of bullying and harassment and the importance of following one’s dreams.