Brysen Howe selling teddy bears to raise proceeds for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Following an overwhelmingly positive campaign this summer, Brysen Howe, 12, will be walking along highway 40 from Grande Prairie to Grande Cache, inspiring donations to the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS).On his largest undertaking to date, Brysen has raised over $6,000 over the course of his endeavor this summer alone.“We started the year around the $8,000 mark,” said Tamara Howe, Brysen’s mother.“With this we wanted to break the $10,000 point and I think we ended up passing it within the first few days.”After her grandfather was diagnosed with cancer, Brysen, four years old at the time, took it upon himself and made it his mission to help in any way he could.From strumming a ukulele in a mall to selling teddy bears at hockey games, year after year, Brysen continues to try and expand his horizon and go for bigger feats to raise money.“Every birthday he asks for donations rather than presents, he’s presented a cheque on the ice at a Storm hockey game, he was featured in the Grande Cache Mountaineer, and was nominated by an acquaintance of ours for a provincial great kid award,” said his father Steve Howe.Brysen was inspired to step up his game and walk to Grande Cache after participating in a Terry Fox event in Ontario during a family trip across Canada. The highway distance between Grande Prairie and Grande Cache is approximately 187 kilometres.“After that he started talking about it and it just went from there,” said Tamara Howe.“When he says 187 (kilometres), he won’t have anything less,” said Steve Howe.As Brysen’s campaign has continued to grow, so has the community support rallying to back him, including Hinton’s Edward “Fast Eddie” Dostaler to join him on the walk.The Oakdale Fire Department has also opted to jump in and lend their support by providing trucks to drive on either side of the walk to slow passing traffic and increasing overall safety.Preparing for the walk has been noticeably difficult for the family, due to uncooperative and obstructive weather conditions over the course of the summer.“You’ll want to get out for a walk or a run and get cut short by all the rain we’ve been having,” said Steve Howe.“It’s also been tricky to find the time to be able to get out and thank all the supporters, with us both working full time and with so much support coming in,” said Tamara Howe. “If we had known it was going to be this big, we would have started planning earlier.”Kickoff for the walk will be 8 a.m. at Reilly Transfer yard on Aug. 27. Donations to the cause can be made through the Brysen Howe for the Cure Facebook page.