Posts Tagged "richmond"


‘They failed me’: High-profile Mountie walks away from B.C. RCMP after struggles with PTSD

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A high-profile Mountie is walking away from the RCMP after what she calls “unforgivable” neglect from the institution.

Staff Sgt. Jennifer Pound was the face of Integrated Homicide Investigation Team for years, a role that eventually left her suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder.

After years of struggle, she has decided to retire early, saying she could no longer in good conscience, represent the organization.

Deep roots in the RCMP

Pound says she knew she wanted to be a police officer when she was 15, following in her father’s footsteps.

“He really did enjoy his work and came home and raved about how much he loved working every day,” she told CTV News Vancouver. “So, I kind of wanted to mimic that and have a career that you know, felt a part of a family to and really enjoy the camaraderie and a sense of purpose.”

Her brother, husband and many other family members also became members.

At 23, Pound began her career in the University detachment, before heading to North Vancouver.

“I went on to a legal gaming section, the missing women unit and then the Richmond detachment is where I really started to get into the media component of policing,” said Pound.

A slow burn

After years of commitment, Pound was brought onto the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team where she was promoted twice, eventually becoming a staff sergeant.

“People that want to go there want to see justice and they want to see people held accountable for the most horrific crime that you can encounter,” she explained.

As the unit’s spokesperson she worked closely with the families of victims, shouldering the burden of some of the province’s most brutal murders in a very public way.

She believes those interactions triggered the initial symptoms of PTSD.

“On camera, I can be stoic, and I can be whoever I need to be to get that message across. But at the end of the day, I’m walking in my own door to go home. And my family’s not getting the best of me.”

She began experiencing what she described as flu-like symptoms that she couldn’t seem to shake.

“Thankfully, it manifested itself physically or I don’t really know when I would have stopped to take a break and get myself well,” she said.

She was forced to seek medical attention and was put on a two-week medical leave.

“It was just slipping more into an abyss of illness and not being able to get out of bed and hitting just a really, really deep, dark depression within those two weeks,” she told CTV News.

Seeking treatment

Pound was diagnosed with PTSD by her family doctor and was put on another three-month leave.

“The crucial time for in my opinion for the RCMP to get involved with individuals that are off work are from the very, very initial stages,” she said. “You can’t have your people off work sick and not be checking in on them and not at least be acknowledging that you play a role in their recovery.”

She says her direct supervisors were supportive, but RCMP health services was not.

“The very first call that I received from the RCMP was from the graduated return to work people to say, ‘When are you going to get back to work?’ Which is really, really damaging when an individual is trying to figure out what’s wrong with them,” Pound said.

She says that call only exasperated the guilt and shame she was already feeling.

On top of that, she was faced with a six-month waitlist to see a psychologist.

“There’s a real pressure to get members back on the road. And that pressure can be dangerous when you’re dealing with first responders and policing you don’t want sick members on the road.”

It ended up taking her more than a year to see a psychologist that had experience working with first responders.

“What I needed is some from somebody health services to go, ‘Here’s the process. Here’s what you can expect,’ and offer up some psychologists, some doctors, something tangible and helpful for me to move forward in my healing process,” she explained.

RCMP health services

National Headquarters says RCMP health services operates through three programs:

  • Occupational health: which assesses an officer’s fitness to perform law enforcement duties.
  • Disability management and accommodation: which recommends limitations or restrictions to ill or injured members.
  • Health benefits: which determines whether illness or injuries are work-related.

“When you describe yourself as a health services unit, there’s an expectation from the members that they’re going to help you get healthy,” Pound said.

The RCMP says its members are covered for basic health care under provincial/territorial health care plans.

“The health and safety of our members is a top priority for the RCMP and is essential to public safety,” said the RCMP in a statement to CTV News.

“Although, we can’t comment on specific cases, we take work-related stress and mental health issues very seriously and are committed to enhancing the health, safety and resiliency of all our employees. Our work on mental health will never be done.”

Pound says the institution needs to play a bigger role in securing mental health support in a timely manner.

“Health services within the RCMP are ineffective,” she said.

“They failed me right out of the gate.”

‘Stay on the Line’

Pound has been blogging about her struggles with PTSD through a blog called “Stay on the Line,” referencing what 911 dispatchers often tell people in crisis before help is on the way.

She says she’s been inundated with responses from other first responders who have faced similar challenges accessing care.

Going forward she hopes to use the platform to let people with PTSD know they are not alone.

She says the decision to take an early retirement wasn’t an easy one, as she still had many things she wanted to accomplish in policing.

“I knew I couldn’t go back and feel good about myself and feel good about myself for working for an organization that I knew had forgotten me as soon as I stepped out the door.” 

This is part one of a three-part series. Check back for more this week.


‘Targeted shooting’ in parking lot at shopping centre in North Delta

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Police say they are investigating after a man was shot in a parking lot at a shopping centre in North Delta near the Surrey border Saturday afternoon.

The shooting happened shortly before 5 p.m. at Scottsdale Centre near the intersection of Scott Road and 72 Avenue, according to a news release from the Delta Police Department.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found a man who had been shot, police said, adding that they “are not in a position to confirm the identity of the victim or comment on his medical condition.”

“Right now, the initial evidence is indicating that this was a targeted shooting,” said Insp. Guy Leeson, DPD’s head of investigative services, in the release.

“Officers have been interviewing witnesses in the area, and we are also in possession of video that appears to have been filmed immediately after the incident,” Leeson said. “However, anyone who hasn’t yet spoken to police and was a witness (or) has dash cam or CCTV video, is asked to please call 604-946-4411.”

Leeson also acknowledged the “very public” nature of the shooting, saying police are “very much aware” of the risk to innocent bystanders.

“Fortunately it doesn’t appear there was anyone else injured during this incident,” he said.

Sujay Nazareth was inside the Walmart at Scottsdale Centre when he began hearing from staff and other customers that shots had been fired in the parking lot. He told CTV News he was initially skeptical, thinking there are lots of noises that can sound like gunshots.

Soon, though, he heard an announcement over the loudspeaker at Walmart, saying that the store was being locked down and asking people to remain calm.

Nazareth said customers in the store were initially not allowed to leave, as they watched police gather in the parking lot and put up yellow tape around the scene.

Eventually, people were allowed to leave through the shopping mall, but not through the direct exit to the parking lot, Nazareth said.

He said he lives nearby, but drove to the store Saturday afternoon. He left his car in the parking lot and walked home because it was unclear when people might be allowed to leave the Walmart and go back to their vehicles. 


Fatal shooting in North Delta shopping centre parking lot was targeted, say police

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Police are investigating after a man was shot and killed in a parking lot at a shopping centre in North Delta near Surrey on Saturday afternoon.

The shooting happened shortly before 5 p.m. on Saturday at Scottsdale Centre near the intersection of Scott Road and 72 Avenue, according to a news release from the Delta Police Department.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found a man who was in critical condition.

“Despite the best efforts of Emergency Health Services, unfortunately the victim in this incident did pass away,” said Inspector Guy Leeson, head of Investigative Services at Delta Police, in a news statement.

“Right now, the initial evidence is indicating that this was a targeted shooting,” he added.

“Officers have been interviewing witnesses in the area, and we are also in possession of video that appears to have been filmed immediately after the incident,” Leeson said. “However, anyone who hasn’t yet spoken to police and was a witness (or) has dash cam or CCTV video, is asked to please call 604-946-4411.”

Leeson also acknowledged the “very public” nature of the shooting, saying police are “very much aware” of the risk to innocent bystanders.

“Fortunately it doesn’t appear there was anyone else injured during this incident,” he said.

Sujay Nazareth was inside the Walmart at Scottsdale Centre when he began hearing from staff and other customers that shots had been fired in the parking lot. He told CTV News he was initially skeptical, thinking there are lots of noises that can sound like gunshots.

Soon, though, he heard an announcement over the loudspeaker at Walmart, saying that the store was being locked down and asking people to remain calm.

Nazareth said customers in the store were initially not allowed to leave, as they watched police gather in the parking lot and put up yellow tape around the scene.

Eventually, people were allowed to leave the Walmart through the shopping mall, but not through the direct exit to the parking lot, Nazareth said. Many peoples’ cars were behind police tape and they weren’t allowed to access their vehicles.

Nazareth, who lives nearby, said he walked home instead.

On Sunday morning, Delta police said in a statement that they had removed some of the crime tape, allowing many people to access their cars.

“Access to most cars caught in this crime scene is now available. Some cars remain behind crime scene tape and are not accessible,” reads a Delta Police Department tweet.


‘Different is beautiful’: 2-year-old born without hands to get puppy without a paw to change perceptions

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A Chilliwack, B.C., mother is hoping a dog can help show her two-year-old daughter Ivy who was born without hands that being different makes her special.

What started out as a quest to find the perfect dog turned into a mission to change how others view disabilities.

When Vanessa McLeod was just 19 weeks pregnant she was told by doctors she should terminate.

“One doctor said you have to think about her quality of life she is going to have no hands. It still makes me a little bit sick thinking that she could have not been here if we had listened to those doctors,” said McLeod.

Now, little Ivy is two years old and she is thriving.

“Her favourite thing to do is colour and she just uses her toes to hold the markers so she has just learned to do things differently,” said McLeod.

McLeod says Ivy doesn’t really notice she is different yet but knows as she gets older she will start to question things.

“Why she doesn’t have hands and why she was born that way and why her and not other people,” said McLeod.

She wanted to find a way to make those conversations easier and thought a puppy that was also born with a limb difference could help Ivy embrace her differences.

“You know you were born that way but different is beautiful and this puppy was also born that way and that is also a beautiful thing and I just think it would be a magical bond,” said McLeod.

They expected a long search for the right dog but it was meant to be. A puppy they named Lucky was born a few weeks ago right in their home community.

“Missing her front paw so it just feels like fate,” said McLeod.

Now that their family has found the perfect pup. Her hope is that speaking out changes the way others view disabilities in the first place.

“She’s a happy rambunctious little toddler and I love everything that is different about her so I encourage people not to view disabilities as sad or something to be pitied but something to be celebrated,” said McLeod.

McLeod has since written a letter to the doctors that told her to abort telling them what she wished they would have told her instead.

“I wish you (they) would have told me that we would find support within the limb difference community, within the disability community,” said McLeod.

McLeod says the genetics counselor responded to her letter and invited her to talk to genetics medical students to help teach them how to deliver diagnoses in a way that is not so negative.

“I’m excited for that opportunity to kind of challenge the way doctors think and maybe teach the next generation of doctors that differences are beautiful and it’s ok and these parents will find support and make it through and they will love their babies,” said McLeod.  


Langley condo fire: Investigation continues days after blaze forced dozens out of their homes

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An investigation continues into what caused a massive fire at a condo development in Langley Monday.

The explosive fire all but leveled the four-building pre-sale condo development that had been nearing completion.

There is no indication that the fire is suspicious, but Langley Township’s deputy fire chief, Bruce Ferguson, says an in-depth investigation is underway. That investigation includes other agencies and private fire investigators.

Ferguson says it appears the blaze began somewhere in the centre of the complex which was under construction.

The fire forced more than 100 people living nearby from their homes, but residents in all but two units have been allowed to return.

The flames broke out Monday about 9:30 p.m near 80th Avenue and 208th Street. The fire sent embers flying, where they started another fire a block away, heat from the flames melted the siding on a neighbouring home.

When crews arrived two of the towers were already on fire, but it quickly spread through the wood frame buildings.

Metro-Can Construction, which is the contractor for the site, said all four buildings at the Alexander Square Development, which were unoccupied and at various stages of construction, were affected.

By Tuesday, all that was left standing were two elevator shafts and the remnants of one of the buildings on the south side of the development.

A deputy fire chief described the blaze as “one of those fires you rarely see in your career.”

“So it’s a very big event,” Andy Hewitson said.

Michelle Molnar, who lives across the street from the development, said the siding and windows on her townhouse melted due to the intense heat.

“We’re so lucky this is all the damage we have,” she said. “If the wind had started blowing the other way it would have been a different story.”

The fire department is asking anyone with video of the fire or dash cam or security camera footage from the area between about 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m Monday to contact them to assist in the investigation.

A development website lists the project as being sold-out. It’s unclear what may happen next for buyers and the fire department says there is no chance of saving any part of the development.

“It’s a pile of rubble and hole in the ground right now,” Ferguson said.

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Sheila Scott and Regan Hasegawa


Overdose crisis: B.C. premier calls on Trudeau to decriminalize drug possession for personal use

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British Columbia’s premier is urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take an “enormous step” to reduce stigma associated with illicit drug use by decriminalizing possession for personal use.

In a letter sent Monday to the prime minister, John Horgan says people in B.C. are experiencing unprecedented rates of overdose-related harms, including deaths because of the toxic street drug supply.

The letter says criminal prohibitions are ineffective in deterring drug use and criminalization prevents people from seeking the help they need.

Horgan says he supports the recent call by Canada’s police chiefs to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use as the best way to battle addiction.

He says his ministers will reach out to their federal counterparts to take further steps.

The BC Coroners Service said last week that a record 175 people died in June of illicit-drug overdoses, surpassing the previous record of 171 deaths just a month before.

A public health emergency was declared in 2016 and since then about 5,000 people in B.C. have died from illicit-drug overdoses, with many caused by the powerful opioid fentanyl.

“Behind these statistics lies a very personal tragedy,” Horgan says. “We are losing our family members and our friends, our neighbours and our colleagues. We must do more.”

Overdose continues to be the leading cause of unnatural death in B.C. and life expectancy at birth is declining in the province largely due to the overdose crisis, he says.

By changing the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to decriminalize possession for personal use, “the federal government would take an enormous step to reduce the systemic stigma associated with illicit drug use and support people to access the services that they need to stay safe and start their path to recovery,” Horgan says.

The federal Ministry of Health said in a statement Monday it has expanded the accessibility of vital health and social services for people who use drugs.

“These actions include supporting the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, funding programs like drug treatment courts for those whose substance use contributes to their offending, supporting enhanced access to harm reduction services such as supervised consumption sites, access to pharmaceutical-grade medications, also known as safer supply, and an expanded range of treatment options,” it said.

“Our government remains committed to advancing evidence-based responses to help reverse the trend of opioid overdose deaths and other substance-related harms in Canada.”

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has proposed increasing access to health care, treatment and social services in order to divert people away from the criminal justice system, which would apply to those in possession of a small amount of illicit drugs for personal consumption.

It also called for the creation of a national task force to research drug policy reform that looked at the law that covers simple possession.

Association president and Vancouver Chief Const. Adam Palmer has said that the fentanyl crisis and a poisoned drug supply have devastated communities and taken thousands of lives across Canada.

“We recommend that enforcement for possession give way to an integrated health-focused approach that requires partnerships between police, health care and all levels of government.”

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has also called for the decriminalization of people who possess small amounts of drugs, saying people use substances for many reasons.

“Nobody grows up thinking ‘I want to be addicted to substances, I want to have a substance use disorder, I want to have this controlling my life,”’ she said last week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 20, 2020.


‘Price of having COVID-19’: Richmond, B.C. survivor deals with symptoms months later

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Life for Lorraine Graves has taken a dramatic turn.

Before March, she says she was living a vibrant life: public speaking, hosting workshops and working as a journalist in Richmond, B.C.

Now, having one phone call with a friend in the morning will exhaust her energy for the rest of the day and she will be forced to lie down — and that’s on a good day, she says.

“I’m incredibly disappointed that the price of having COVID-19 is that my life is going to be a pale imitation of what it could have been,” she tells CTV News.

She didn’t know it at the time, but back in early March, she had been infected with the coronavirus.

She and three family members in the house were all sick around the same time with various symptoms.

“Everybody had a different collection of symptoms from the grab-bag of possibilities and everybody had a different severity and I drew the short straw.

“I woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a bus. My lungs, instead of air, were full of egg white. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t cough out. I had headaches; I had pains; my brain was foggy.”

She also couldn’t taste or smell a delicious dinner her husband had prepared.

Some of symptoms her family had weren’t considered hallmark COVID traits in the early days of the pandemic, so they weren’t tested at the time.

“My GP told me I definitely had COVID-19. The lack of sense of taste is very rare in a viral condition, plus the lung problems, plus all the other things,” she says.

She says she was symptom-free one month later but then suddenly, her lungs felt like an “old helium balloon” that had unexpectedly deflated.

She’s been experiencing a wave of symptoms ever since.

“I thought it was binary, you live or die,” she says coughing. “I didn’t understand that it’s like polio, where there were people who lived, people who died and people who lived with long-term consequences.”

She is now part of a club called the Long-haulers, a club she never thought she’d be part of.

“We’re in it for the long haul. It’s not one and done,” she says.

She’s found a community of other COVID survivors who are still dealing with the aftermath of the disease.

There’s COVID Long Haulers Support Group Canada which has more than 700 members and Survivor Corps which has over 70,000 members.

“This disease can be debilitating. It can be deadly. But it can cost you the rest of your life’s health as well,” she says.

New study looks at long-term health impacts

Why some COVID patients are still suffering from lingering symptoms while others are symptom-free is the focus of a new study.

The Canadian COVID-19 Prospective Cohort Study looks at roughly 2,000 patients, some who were in the intensive care unit and put on ventilators, and some who were never hospitalized at all, like Graves.

“Why are patients who are not as sick, why do they still have lingering symptoms? And so I think it’s still in the early days, in terms of trying to understand that piece,” says Dr. Angela Cheung with the University Health Network, a co-lead in the research. “We’re looking at their genetics, how their — what we call biomarkers — to see how we can separate the people who are going to be really sick versus those who are not as sick.”

Another piece of the study is understanding the caregivers of those patients who were sickest with COVID and the impact the disease is having on those families and their mental health.

“These patients will have very significant disability — after critical illness and after severe acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is the life-threatening complication of COVID-19 — the patients will be weak,” explains Dr. Margaret Herridge, co-lead in the study.

Dr. Herridge says some patients may still struggle with persistent coughs up to eight weeks after a viral illness, but other symptoms, like fatigue, are a cause for concern.

“These systemic complications that might lead you to think that there are other organ system issues would be unusual. And I think if people are suffering from these symptoms they definitely should be seen,” she says.

Experts from Ontario, Quebec, B.C., Alberta, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are now helping to find out more about the health implications of this mysterious disease.

“It will be extremely helpful to plan for how to best look after these folks and to help inform public health policy,” explains Dr. Herridge.

Patients are still being recruited for the study. Anyone who’s still experiencing symptoms after testing positive for COVID-19 and is interested in participating in the study is asked to email


Abbotsford family raising funds for custom trailer for daughter with severe allergies

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Katie Hobson’s home for the past two years has been her 1995 Ford Ranger pickup, with a small motorcycle cargo trailer attached to the back.

The 36-year-old former teacher is now living in a remote area near Cranbrook with her dog, Chester. Part of the reason for her isolation: severe environmental sensitivities that cause debilitating migraines. She also suffers from a number of other medical conditions, and for a time needed a PICC line, or catheter to the vein, inserted to be able to take regular intravenous medications.

“It’s a challenge for anybody who’s homeless to be in the elements,” Hobson told CTV. “And then for myself, with the added medical issues that I have, like the migraines and the allergies to everything, it just pushes homelessness to this whole new level of what feels like a complete impossibility.”

Hobson does not have heat, plumbing, or power. She is not able to stay at campsites or parks due to the odours that will trigger her migraines. In the winters, she’s driven down into the U.S. to avoid the cold.

“Last year, for example, in this area where I’m at, Chester and I made it till about middle of October, and then the temperatures dropped to minus 13,” Hobson said. “It was just so cold.”

Hobson’s mother Ronda said prior to becoming homeless, her daughter had been renting a place in Sechelt which did not aggravate her allergies, but the house was sold.

“At that same time she got sepsis from her PICC line,” Ronda said. “Between those two things, she’s not been able to find a place to be able to tolerate and to live in, especially since the sepsis, because her sensitivities are even worse than they’ve been.”

Ronda said Hobson was an incredible teacher who specialized in high school English, but ultimately had to go on permanent disability after a year due to her allergies.

“That was very hard for her,” Ronda said. “Katie is just a really incredible woman. She really is very gifted. She writes music, she plays her guitar….I just would like to see her live out her special life with her condition, to be able to live it to the fullest that she can.”

Now an online fundraiser is collecting donations to help improve Hobson’s living situation, including finding her a more reliable vehicle and ordering a custom self-contained trailer.

Bud Stephenson with All Parts Trailers is helping coordinate the special order with an American manufacturer.

“It’s going to be almost all metal inside. Very, very little of anything else,” Stephenson said, and added they have to avoid using plastic due to Hobsons sensitivities. “This one she’ll be able to hook onto a regular smaller pickup truck and move it around at will.”

Stephenson said they’ve never ordered a trailer with those unique specifications before. He also said a surge in demand for trailers during the pandemic has slowed down the process.

“We’re way behind,” Stephenson said, and noted the maker of the trailer they’re ordering was also shut down for two months. “So they’re catching up.”

He’s hoping the order may be placed by this week, and then expects it will take about ten weeks to arrive.

Hobson’s mother said having the self-contained trailer where her daughter could comfortably live year-round would “mean the world.”

“It would mean a lot,” Ronda said, on the verge of tears. “It just has never felt safe. Every time she left Canada to go south, my heart broke as a mom.”

Ronda said they’re also hoping to find a piece of land where she can set up her home long-term, and added Hobson also plans to prepare her home to be off-grid, in case there are no water or power hookups.


Vote on overnight camping in Vancouver parks pushed to 2nd day as dozens sign up to speak

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After an hours-long discussion on whether to allow overnight camping in many of Vancouver’s green spaces, the meeting has been pushed to a second day, with the city’s park board expected to vote Tuesday night.

A special Vancouver Park Board meeting was planned for Monday to consider bylaw changes allowing temporary camping in many of the city’s parks. 

But as nearly 90 people signed up to speak on the controversial issue, the meeting had to be extended into Tuesday. 

A report, authored by the board’s general manager, recommends “the Parks Control Bylaw be amended to allow people to erect temporary overnight shelter in a park when they have no other housing or shelter options.”  

Under the proposed changes, campers would be expected to pack up their tents by 8 a.m. and, if approved, washroom facilities and storage options would then be arranged by the board.

Some people living at the park told CTV News it’ll be hard to meet those requirements, as people would be required to carry or store their belongings throughout the day. 

The report also recommends the designation of authorized parks for overnight camping, which would have to be 25 metres from schools and playgrounds, avoid sensitive environmental features, protect green spaces and support public use of fields, pools, and other amenities.

Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and nearly 50 people are still signed up to speak. 

Encampments on the move

Dozens have set up tents in East Vancouver’s Strathcona Park after two other encampments were ordered to clear out. 

A long-term tent city in Oppenheimer Park was directed to move in May, as officials cited concerns of the possible spread of COVID-19. But just hours later, a new tent city popped in in a parking lot near CRAB Park.  

That encampment was cleared in June, which is when tenters relocated to Strathcona Park. 

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Penny Daflos and Alissa Thibault 


B.C. Para-cyclist embarking on epic ride in support of Paralympic sport

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After the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games were postponed due to the global health crisis, Tristen Chernove shifted gears and set his sights on tackling another feat.

The three-time Paralympic medalist from Cranbrook was set to compete in the summer games but is now preparing for a gruelling ride through southern B.C.

Chernove said he hopes to make the trip from Fernie to Merritt which spans 1,000 kilometres, in just three days. He would be the first Para-cyclist to complete the trek.

It’s part of the BC Epic 1000, an almost entirely off-road and self-supported cycling challenge, which raises money for the Canadian Paralympic Foundation.

The foundation aims to provide more opportunities for Canadian athletes with disabilities to participate in various sports. 

He recognizes the impact funding from the organization has had on his own cycling career and is excited to help give back to other athletes. 

“It was one of those foundations that I could try to give back to, that was very personal,” Chernove told CTV News. “I know exactly how the work they do plays out in the lives of people living with a disability.” 

The 45-year-old took home three medals at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio, including a gold, silver and bronze. He also captured 13 world titles. 

Chernove plans to set off on his journey before sunrise Saturday, where he hopes to raise $40,000 for the Canadian Paralympic Foundation. 

“I do my best as far as performing as an athlete when I have difficult challenges to rise to and this to me looked like something that would challenge me on many levels,” said Chernove, in a news release.

He adds that he’s never done any long distance cycling events before and is new to self-supported biking. 

“This is providing something else for me to focus on and push myself in a different way.”

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