Jimmy Lefebvre of Valleyview Alberta walked east through Lloydminster last Thursday with his wife, mom and three kids following in a motorhome on a quest to raise a whopping $100 million for The L Foundation to fund awareness and support to fight cancer. His Can-Survive Walk will take him to the gravesite of his dad whom he watched slowly die from cancer in 2015. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to walk in another man’s shoes, ask Jimmy Lefebvre.
The Valleyview Alberta resident answered that question when he left Lloydminster on Thursday morning during his 5,716 kilometre Can-Survive Walk from Grande Prairie Alberta to St. Louis P.E.I. to fight cancer by spreading prevention awareness and raising funds.
“The Can-Survive Walk was an idea I sort of dreamt up after having multiple family members diagnosed, with some passing away and some not— winning the battle with cancer,” he said.
He said it wasn’t until his dad passed away from cancer in 2015 and seeing him wither away that he wanted to do something, but he didn’t know what that would be for a long time.
“Then the idea popped into my head to take this journey,” he said.
Lefebvre walks eight hours a day ahead of his motorhome supported by his mom, his wife and three young children.
“It’s been a fantastic experience so far for the kids—we’ve met some fantastic people along the way,” he said, including folks he met in Lloydminster.
The family stayed overnight in Lloyd at the home of Loreal and Bryan Ford where they shared some stories.
“The reception in Lloydminster has been fantastic,” said Lefebvre.
“We stopped in a few local shops in town and got some stuff we needed to pick up for supplies—I got myself a haircut and picked up a few things and talked to a few folks around town and everyone’s really warm and receptive— it’s fantastic.”
Lefebvre has a lofty goal to raise a whopping $100 million for a self-sustainable cancer education and research foundation called The L Foundation by walking for eight hours day from May 1 when they left his parents’ home to Aug. 31.
“I dream big,” he said.
“There’s little things that don’t scare me too much anymore, so unless I push the limits or unless I dream real big I don’t get too excited.”
By the time he left Lloydminster, Lefebvre’s foundation had raised just over $10,000.
“We’re a little bit off pace, but we still have three and a half months to go, we’re going to get there,” he said.
He has partnered with CanadaHelps.org and CanadaGives.ca for fundraising and looks for support from sponsors.
Lefebvre put in more than 1,800 kilometres of pre-event training on a treadmill and walking track, but he noted that’s not the same as walking on the road 50 kilometres a day.
“The first three or four days were pretty tough on the joints, but we’ve got the body conditioned up now,” he said, adding he is getting lots of rest and eating energizing food.
He stressed every step of the 5,716 kilometre trek will be done on foot.
Lefebvre’s end point is the gravesite of his dad in P.E.I., calling his walk more of a personal challenge more than anything else while altruistically promoting healthy living.
“If I can help one person get off out the couch and live a healthier life or make some changes to their lifestyle so they can live a little bit longer so we can help ourselves survive if we do have that battle with cancer, that’s a big win for me,” he added.
“Exercise makes you feel good.”
He said people can check out his walk on his “theLfoundation.ca” Can-Survive website.
“If anyone feels like they want to open up their hearts and their wallets they can they do that there as well,” he said.