Alberta man walking over 1,000 km through B.C. to honour family lost to cancer

“I’ll do anything I can to get a cure for this disease. If I had to walk to the moon, I would.”

Dwayne Buckle is walking from Red Deer, across the Rockies, through the Kootenays, into the Lower Mainland, and all the way up Vancouver Island to Port Hardy.

Buckle set out on foot from Red Deer, Alta. on Oct. 21 – 1,172 kilometres away. He’s made it as far as Golden, B.C. now.

Some have called him crazy, but the 40-year-old’s motivation comes from two family members he lost to cancer, just five days apart. His aunt and cousin stood by Buckle when he was younger, doing everything they could to help set him right.

“They went the distance for me and I didn’t realize how hard they were trying to fix my life,” he said.

As the snow is beginning to fall and a pandemic is raging doesn’t seem like an ideal time to start a trek. But that’s the point, Buckle said.

“Is it ever a good time to get cancer? My family didn’t get to choose the time either.” Touché.

He credits his grandfather, aunt and a cousin for where he is now. They believed in him and stood by him. It just took a while for Buckle to recognize it. They encouraged him to get a job, to get training, so he pursued a career in firefighting.

Days after he completed his certifications, his aunt passed away from cancer. Five days later, his cousin died.

“This is why I’m walking; for the people that didn’t give up on me. I think of them every day. I miss them like crazy. They may not have walked as far as I am, but they never gave up on me,” Buckle wrote on his Facebook page, Hike for the Cure 2020.

You can follow Buckle’s journey on Facebook where he posts daily updates on his journey.

Dwayne Buckle on Hightway 1 en-route from Red Deer to Port Hardy. (Submitted photo)The long road ahead. (Dwayne Buckle photo)

Dwayne Buckle on Hightway 1 en-route from Red Deer to Port Hardy. (Submitted photo)
The long road ahead. (Dwayne Buckle photo)

It took him seven days of walking to reach the B.C. border. A few days of rest, and he trekked on again to Golden.

Buckle trudges for at least 20 kilometres on a slow day, or as long as necessary to reach the next town. His current record is 87 kilometres in one day. He’s mostly sticking to the Trans Canada Highway.

Next up is Rogers Pass, a dangerous crossing in the Selkirk Mountains east of Revelstoke. His friends don’t want him walking it alone, but he’s not willing to miss a single step, so they’ve arranged to act as a pace car, waiting for him after each snow tunnel. Every night they’ll leave a marker in the snow, drive to a place to rest, and come back the next day until he’s through the pass.

As personal as the journey is, Buckle also wants to raise money for cancer research. Donations can be directed to the Canadian Cancer Society.

“I wish there were things I could have done to help them. I’ll do anything I can to get a cure for this disease. If I had to walk to the moon, I would.”

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca


Cancer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

Most Read