“My name is Michael. This was my idea. I want to cure cancer so kids don’t die.” This is a powerful statement for a boy who at nine years old has an honesty and compassion for others that surpasses his age. Michael Preston learned about Terry Fox at school and was so inspired about what Terry had done, he asked his mom “How would I go about doing a run like that?”
Michael was not the first person to be inspired by Fox’s cross Canada journey to raise money for cancer research, but his desire inspired a family and not just any family, but a blended family that soon became united in a journey of their own. After Natalie Preston challenged the kids to train for four weeks to see if they could do a long distance run, a course was set out of determination and inspiration. The six kids showed their mom and dad not only did they have it in them to run 3.5 km a day as they were challenged, but they did it in good spirits.
With the challenge met, parents Reg Gosselin and Natalie Preston, felt that they had to go through with their end of the bargain and they began planning the 600 plus km run from their home outside Vernon, B.C. in Lavington to Vancouver. Reg approached a few businesses about donations and soon they were ready. Sport Check stepped up in a big way donating two pairs of runners to all eight family members along with full running apparel including shorts, shirts, track pants, hoodies and water bottles. Budget Car and Truck Rentals donated a pace car, Voyager RV Centre of Winfield donated the use of a motorhome for the run and Shuzi Total Health donated sports wrist bands.
The family set up a website, set a date and set a plan in place. They were ready. The family left Lavington on July 1st Canada Day. They had run 273 kilometres when they reached Princeton on July 6. Conquering the Mine Hill was one of their most onerous tasks as they ran on.
“We hope to raise $20,000,” said Natalie. Haylee Gosselin and Hailey Preston, both 10, joined in the run with Ty Preston age six, Desiree Gosselin age 13 and Faren Gosselin age 15. They each ran 4 kilometres in the morning and four in the afternoon getting closer and closer to their destination with each step.
“I don’t want people to be sick,” Ty Preston.
“One of my goals is to be able to actually help somebody. My last goal is to be able to say that I ran to Vancouver with my family.” Desiree Preston
“I feel very fortunate that I have the physical ability to do something such as this whereas many cancer patients couldn’t ever dream of it. Hopefully, we will raise our goal of $20,000 to give them the opportunity to follow their dreams.” Faren Gosselin
“I want to help people that are sick and we are going to have a great time running.” Hailey P
The words of this blended family are strong and their run to help end cancer struck a cord with many along the way who stopped to hand over money out car windows or run with them, if even for a little while. They are still collecting donations and while many did not have the opportunity to donate as the family raced through town it is not too late. The family sends out a special thanks to Best Value Inn of Princeton for two nights of hotels.
“Natalie and I are really proud of the kids,” said Reg.
To donate to the cause of this amazing family go to preston-gosselinkidshelpcancer.webs.com