Clinton native reaches Huron on cross-country charity trek - July 26, 2018
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Terry Snell is currently cycling across Canada to raise both money and awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia and last week he arrived in his hometown of Clinton to a hero’s welcome.
Snell declared his intention to cycle across the country in May to honour his grandmother, Rita Dejong, who has recently been diagnosed with dementia.
Around noon on Thursday, July 19, Snell rolled into Clinton via Hwy. 8, stopping at the Clinton Alzheimer Society of Huron County office with over a dozen friends, family members and supporters there to cheer him on.
Once there, he stopped for lunch and to speak with those congregated at the centre. He also hoped to spend some time with his family while in Huron County before moving on to Stratford and through the eastern part of Ontario.
Snell’s ride will continue through Ontario towards St. John’s, Newfoundland, his end point, where many of his friends will be waiting for him.
Now a bicycle mechanic who lives in British Columbia, Snell said that riding from coast to coast has always been a dream of his, but one that was fading from reality as the years went on and he thought it was becoming less and less likely that he’d be able to do it.
However, when he found out that his grandmother was battling dementia, he knew that he could combine his urge to ride across the country with a cause inspired by his beloved grandmother.
In an interview in Clinton with The Citizen, Snell said that the first two weeks of the ride were very challenging, making his way through the mountains of British Columbia.
And while hills (especially those associated with mountains) are the nemesis of every cyclist, Snell said that making his way across the prairies was more mentally challenging than the mountains were physically challenging.
Facing a vicious headwind and the lack of a changing landscape, Snell said he found the prairies to be difficult and was pleased when he made his way into Ontario.
However, whether it’s the mountains of British Columbia or the headwinds of the prairies, Snell said it was in those challenging times that he most thought about the people for whom he took on this ride, like his grandmother.
Snell set a goal of raising $4,000 for Alzheimer’s research and he has already raised three-quarters of that amount, which isn’t counting any of the cash donations he has taken in along the way. (Snell said he was planning on handing those in to the Clinton office during his stop there.)
He said it’s been very inspiring to make his way along the roads of Canada and that so many people have been cheering him on along the way.
To donate to Snell and Alzheimer’s research, visit his GoFundMe.com page and search for “Cross Canada Ride for Alzheimer’s”.