A military sergeant and his wife are planning a 1,000 kilometre-plus cycling journey to raise funds and awareness for sufferers of mental trauma.
Sgt. Rob Nederlof and Marina will set out from Wawanesa, Manitoba, on August 11, and head to Lethbridge, Alberta.
The journey will take them from Gull Lake to the Eagle Valley Campground off the TransCanada Highway on Tuesday, August 17.
“As my wife and I pass through your area, we would love to be able to share our story with the residents that live there,” said Sgt. Nederlof.
He said the purpose of the Prairie Thousand fundraiser was to help Wounded Warriors Canada and the Support Dog Program.
“As a sergeant in the military and veteran of three tours of duty I have seen too many people suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other mental health issues, and rather than simply be a witness I want to contribute to the healing of these men and women.
“My goal is to raise $5000, devoted to pay for part of the $15,000 cost of raising and training a PTSD support dog. An animal like this means the difference between life and death for someone. It may not necessarily be a military veteran; it might be a first responder or dispatch operator. Anyone that experiences trauma has the potential of suffering from PTSD.”
Sgt. Nederlof, who admits to a passion for cycling, said he wanted to spread the message that there is mental health support and taking that message across the prairies is something he could do.
“I researched the various support groups and decided WWC was the best fit for my goal.”