It all starts with the first one. Just like the first breath of the day, I will be grateful for my steps and my breaths. Starting on May 1, I'm going to be embarking on the wildest experience of my life thus far: walking 60 kilometres a day for six months, travelling across this beautiful country on a mission. The mission for the 8 million Canadians who have suffered sexual victimization, addiction, and mental illness -- a staggering statistic, and one that is very close to my heart and soul.
After I was sexually assaulted in 2006, I never thought it would be possible to feel normal again. I went into self sabotage mode, mainly because I felt a societal stigma against me. I thought for sure I was the only guy to ever be molested (NOT TRUE). I thought people would question my sexuality if they knew I had been molested by another male. I felt that I was broken. These are things that we, as society, have to eliminate.
This is a journey for all of the Canadians who have dealt with some sort of mental or emotional pain. For the round pegs in the square holes. For the desperate, but even for the average Joe. You are not alone anymore. I want to share this message of strength from pain with the world, and it all starts with one step. Please join me this summer as I travel on foot through many communities across Canada with my hockey stick and hockey ball. Bring your stick. Most importantly, have a conversation about what we can all do better to make this a stigma free country. Lives will be saved, and great memories will be made. I grew up in a middle class family like many Canadians, never expecting to face what I've had to face and live with mental illness. I am the average 1in5 Canadian, and average 1in5 Canadians lives like this every day.
Disclosing my sexual assault and standing up in the fight against this stigma that kept me sick for so long has been an experience to say the least. I have met some amazing people. This summer I hope to meet millions more. Please feel free to join me on my walk when I come through your town. By supporting this journey, you are not only standing in an army against the silence, you are helping extinguish the stigmas. I thank you in advance, from the bottom of my heart.
If you have you ever considered volunteering for big national events like Clara's Big Ride, or Rick Hansen's Man in Motion tour, you should consider working with I'm 1in5. We would love for you to apply as a volunteer -- just click here.http://www.im1in5.com/crosscanadatour/ We are looking to have an international impact, and the more people we have in the I'm 1in5 army, the bigger impact we will have. By giving us your time, you will help us change lives.
We are also accepting donations daily, and momentum is picking up. Any amount you donate comes with a perk -- for example, if you donate $5, you will receive an I'm 1in5 sticker. For a $100 donation, we will name a kilometre of the tour for you. Anything you can give will help support those who are suffering in silence. It's easy -- just click here.http://www.gofundme.com/im1in5
Our goal is to raise $1,000,000. Half of this money will help organizations that have had an impact on my journey towards sobriety and wellness, as well as organizations that share similar values, mission and vision. With the other half, our Board of Directors will be purchasing property and beginning construction of a healing and recovery center on Lake Huron. Your donation will make a difference in someone's life.
We hope this journey will be remembered as one that was inspirational and life changing for all Canadians. It all starts with one step. Will you help?