Regina, SK - Saskatchewan’s only hospice, The Salvation Army’s Regina Wascana Grace Hospice, welcomed a young man that is making the ride of his life in an effort to raise awareness for the hospice movement across Canada.
21 year old Sean Jacklin is riding his bicycle coast to coast as part of the “Cycle of Life Tour”.
His 7500 kilometre journey started June 5th in his hometown of Victoria, BC and will end in September in St. Johns, Newfoundland.
Along the way he visited the Regina Wascana Grace Hospice which hosted a BBQ in recognition of Sean’s ride.
“Jacklin began this tour to heighten the awareness of Hospice services in Canada, and he certainly has done so in our community,” says Ivy Scobie, Executive Director of Regina Wascana Grace Hospice. “We had the opportunity to meet a young man with determination and an advocate for Hospice. We thank him for not only heightening the awareness of the services but also for taking the time to meet with families and staff along the way. This is a great recognition to those we serve and those who provide the service.”
Jacklin is taking on and extending the Cycle of Life Tour from his friend Graham Robertson, who rode 3,632 kilometres from Anchorage, Alaska, to Victoria in the first version of the event last year which raised $13,000 dollars for the Victoria Hospice.
It wasn’t until Jacklin had committed to the ride that he discovered a personal connection. “My mom said, ‘You know, your Grandma Carey spent the last three weeks of her life in the Comox hospice.” Comox is three hours north of Victoria.
“End-of-life care isn’t something you think about when you’re 21, strong and nothing hurts when you get up in the morning,” says Jacklin. “But now I realize it’s a very important program that flies under the radar and that’s what I’m hoping to change”
Along the way, he’s also accepting donations for hospices across Canada, including the Victoria Hospice. “This is an important piece because many hospices in Canada need donations to operate. In Victoria’s case, only half of its operating costs are covered by the health-care system. The rest come through donations, mostly through estates or at the request of families who have had a loved one die in the organization’s care.”
Jacklin has received plenty of positive feedback on his trek, including here on the prairies. “The support has been overwhelming. Having someone come up to you in tears, hold your hand, and say you’re doing a wonderful thing is the most rewarding feeling.”
Jacklin stresses that the end goal is to raise funds, but the key by-product is the awareness of it all. “This subject should not be so taboo, it has touched and affected a high number of people, and it needs to be recognized. In Canada, 70% of all people who die from some form of terminal disease spend time in a hospice.”
Jacklin has faced many elements along the way and expects many more; however, he won’t give up. “To ride solo, unassisted, across Canada is a definite challenge that has me pushing the limits, but it’s more difficult to imagine someone spending the last weeks of their life without someone helping and comforting them.”
You can follow Sean’s Cycle of Life Tour at www.cycleoflifetour.ca
Did you know The Regina Wascana Grace Hospice is owned and operated by The Salvation Army? It offers specialized and professional attention to residents who are at the final stages of life, in a comfortable residential setting and in a manner that also is considerate of the needs of family members.