June 21, 2018

Kyle Gieni, Resource Coordinator, PIRC


It is hard to believe this weekend on June 24th marks the 20th anniversary of the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon, it also hard to believe 1998 was 20 years ago. This year marks the 4th time that I will be participating in this particular race. But for me, it is much more than a race for personal gain. This is an opportunity to come together, by the thousands, and help to support great causes along the 21.1-kilometre path. This year I will be wheeling the half marathon in support of Spinal Cord Injury BC. SCI BC is a charitable organization not only built to offer support to those who have incurred a spinal cord injury, but also those with non-traumatic spinal cord complications such as spina bifida.

Back in 2009, I was coming down with infection after infection and I could not perform my duties as a Probation Officer any longer. Eventually, I lost my job, which left me with no funds to pay for rent at my non-wheelchair accessible apartment in Surrey. I then contacted SCI BC to see if they had any openings for wheelchair accessible units. Luckily, there was a unit in Kitsilano which was being vacated at that time, which was fully wheelchair accessible from the roll-in shower, to the wheel-under sinks, to the patio out the back door, to the accessible roof-top patio. Lucky for me, this place also had a subsidy available for people with low income. Spinal Cord Injury BC helps in many ways including finding accessible housing for people who need it.

SCI BC offers a resource centre, a peer support program, and a magazine called The Spin. All of these work together to improve the lives of people with mobility issues. For the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, we are at 80% of our goal of raising $60,000. Murphy Battista is getting in on the action where they are going to match donations made by their staff. So far, a special thank you goes out to Samir Ibrahim, Cecilia Kwok, Kevin Gourlay, Leyna Roenspies, Aaron Wadley, Summer Kelly and Laurie Ruggles. Your generous donations will go a long way in helping people with spinal cord injuries.

The half-marathon will be starting at UBC, going along SW Marine Drive to NW Marine Drive past Wreck Beach, down the hill past Spanish Banks and Locarno Beach, up to 4th Ave then along Point Grey Rd to Cornwall Ave, past Kitsilano Beach and the Maritime Museum, over the Burrard Bridge, past Sunset Beach and English Bay, eventually ending in Stanley Park. Last time I set a personal record of 1hour 43minutes.

With your help, I am hoping to set another personal best and win the wheelchair division. Please visit my donation site at: Scotiabank Charity Challenge 

Thank you for your support! Let’s keep the good times Rollin’!

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