PLEASE DON'T TAKE YOUR ORGANS TO HEAVEN, HEAVEN KNOWS WE NEED THEM HERE ON EARTH



2nd CAMPAIGN
ONTARIO WALK

June 26 – September 30, 1999




1997 /1998 - After the Toronto Ottawa Walk, I was accepted at a prestigious fitness program. I was faced with juggling 2 dreams at once. I still wanted to walk across Canada, but was it realistic. I had been working  very hard at my fitness career over the years and now I had the opportunity to excel. The Canada walk started to slip away. On October 16, that night I rushed upstairs to try and save my mom as she was having a stroke. She fell into a coma and was put on life support. During the next 2 months our family were by her bedside hoping she recovered. Her organs failed her and she passed away on January 10 1998. At the church service, I announced I would walk across Canada in her memory. 

1998 - On October 24, 1998 Step By Step was incorporated under Industry Canada. Many of my friends that belonged to the NA fellowship and my family helped out. We started building the organization and we inspired many groups and individuals such as John Totten, Weir & Foulds and Clarke & Henning. CHIN was our first media sponsor. Montana Steele became our marketing sponsorship group and they recruited Paladini’s, Pizza Nova and many more. We collaborated with COSTI to produce the first multilingual cards. We coordinated all of our activities and events with the YMCA and the Salvation Army. We worked with MORE, the Ontario Provincial Organ agency  to strategize our campaign in Ontario. 

1999 Jan - Step By Step held a board meeting and decided that we were not ready to attempt a Canada walk but we were ready for an Ontario walk. Our main focus was to get Premier’s Harris’s attention about the organ shortage crisis and to allocate over 100 million dollars. We deliberately organized and invited government officials to our events in 50 communities around Ontario. We were relentless in our pursuit to wake up Ontario to this issue.   

June 26, 1999 Toronto Canada - Road Manager Joe Camara and I began the Ontario Walk. With a dismal budget of $1,200, I made my way, battling influenza, infections, mosquitoes and scorching heat. I completing a liver shaped route that measured 2,500 kilometres that took me 96 days. We captured the hearts of many Ontarians, including the media and political sectors. Our crowning victory was with Premier Michael Harris. The Premier was extremely inspired by Step By Step and my work and the impact we had on the province. In the Premier’s 2nd Throne Speech he invited me as a special guest and officially acknowledged my work and announced the creation of the Premier’s Advisory Board on Organ & Tissue Donations and pledged to contribute 120 million dollars to this area. Credit goes to the tireless efforts by the entire Step By Step team and the late MPP Al Paladini.

Sept 31 1999 - We completed the Ontario Walk with a Press Conference arranged by Liberal leader of Ontario Party MPP Dalton McGuinty. At this press conference I provided Mr. McGuinty with our report and recommendations. Our information was based from years of research and consultations in 50 communities around Ontario. Mr..McGuinty accepted our recommendations.

Oct 21 1999 -  I was invited as Premier Harris’s special guest at the 1st session of the 37st Parliament of Ontario otherwise known as the Throne Speech. I was accompanied by Hockey legend Don Cherry. Immediately after the Throne Speech, Lieutenant Governor Hilary Weston invited me to meet her During this reception I had the opportunity to present my report and recommendations to Premier Harris. The Premier accepted my report.

Jan 23 2000 - Premier Harris arranged a press conference in North Bay and declared that the Ontario Government would fully support our next campaign the Canada Walk



ONTARIO WALK SUPPORTERS

Diana Dyson, Mr. Harold & Mrs. Elma Fidani, Sam Vinci  Wireless Communications, Maggie Wilson  Billy Adie, Catherine Vendemini, Billy E


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