For Immediate Release
July 24, 2012
Hero's Welcome for Cross-Canada Cyclist
Windsor's Mike Jones completes 10-week trip to raise funds for HDGH Foundation
(Windsor, ON) - Four years after a life threatening experience, Mike Jones has completed a once-in-a-lifetime journey.
Mike has completed a 6,300-kilometre trek across Canada that gives hope to cardiac patients who receive a second chance at healthy living following an emergency cardiac care procedure at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital.Along the way, Mike, 48, raised awareness about the dangers of heart disease in stops at cities and towns across Canada. Over the course of his journey, Mike has raised $19,840 for the HDGH cardiac catheterization lab.“We are so proud of Mike and his support for our hospital,” said Bill Marra, President and Executive Director of the HDGH Foundation. “His journey is a proud moment for his family and one that I know will inspire his three children – not to mention hundreds of heart disease survivors who can learn that recovering from a cardiac emergency can be an opportunity to learn to lead a healthier lifestyle.”Mike, an engineering technologist and planner with Stantec in Windsor, was working on a project in Sarnia when he began to experience severe chest pains. He attempted to drive home, but was overcome by debilitating pains. He pulled his vehicle to the curb and flagged down an oncoming vehicle. The driver called EMS and Mike was transported to Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital, where he was successfully treated with life-saving cardiac angioplasty. The experience proved transformational for Mike who, despite already being an avid cyclist, acknowledged he had to change his diet of salty foods, junk food and eating on the run. Pledging to lose weight through diet and increased exercise, Mike started dreaming about his cross-Canada journey.Mike approached the hospital in August of 2011 about his idea, aiming to travel at least 100 kilometres a day, much of it through rugged northern terrain. Mike ended up arriving back in Windsor six weeks ahead of his own schedule.“At first, we were worried about Mike’s ability to do this alone, nearly four years removed from a major cardiac incident,” said Marra. “Since the days of Terry Fox, Rick Hansen and others, many individuals have tried to raise funds for a cause by travelling across the country. We quickly realized how personal this journey was for Mike. We were more than happy to support him.”Stantec provided Mike with a leave of absence to undertake his journey. He set out on May 14. The company also donated Mike’s bike, trailer and the funds to get him to the starting line in Dawson City, Yukon. “The entire Stantec team has been behind Mike from day one,” says Tony Berardi, a managing principal with Stantec in Windsor. “We always believe in supporting and encouraging our own. What’s so wonderful is how Mike’s journey has now inspired all of his colleagues.”Berardi presented Mike a cheque from Stantec for $2,500. The additional donation from Stantec matches pledges made by Mike’s colleagues.Also on July 24, TD Bank Group announced a $75,000 donation to the Beyond Medicine Campaign, which is raising funds for an expansion that includes a 10,445 square foot Cardiac Care Centre. It will feature two state-of-the-art angioplasty suites that will allow us to treat all of the area’s cardiac patients –especially those in need of emergency procedures – on a 24/7 basis. “Just like Mike, TD Bank Group recognizes the importance of the cardiac care provided at HDGH and the further opportunities to expand its ability to treat heart disease sufferers,” said Tim Kawalec, Manager Commercial Credit, TD Commercial Banking Centre in Windsor."In typical Windsor-Essex fashion, we are blessed by the passion and determination of an individual such as Mike who saw fit to take on this incredible journey to demonstrate the importance of supporting Cardiac Care at HDGH,” Marra said. “In the same breath, we have once again benefitted from the corporate leadership of our community with TD's announcement today, and the support of Stantec, lending support to Cardiac Care which is the cornerstone of the Beyond Medicine Campaign."Individuals wishing to congratulate Mike on the completion of his Cross Canada Bicycle Tour can still contribute online at www.support-hdgh.org, or contact the Hôtel-Dieu grace Hospital Foundation at 519-973-4411 ext. 3853. About Hôtel-Dieu Grace HospitalHôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital plays a unique role in Windsor-Essex as the regional provider of advanced care in such areas as complex trauma, renal dialysis, cardiac care, stroke and neurosurgery, acute mental health and a broad range of medical and surgical services required to support these specialized areas.About StantecStantec provides professional consulting services in planning, engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management, and project economics for infrastructure and facilities projects. We support public and private sector clients in a diverse range of markets at every stage, from the initial conceptualization and financial feasibility study to project completion and beyond. Our services are provided on projects around the world through approximately 12,000 employees operating out of more than 190 locations in North America and 4 locations internationally.About TD Bank GroupTD invests in communities to make a positive impact where it does business and where our customers, clients and employees live and work. In 2011, TD donated over $66 million to support community organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada, we focus on Education and Financial Literacy, Creating Opportunities for Young People, and the Environment. For more information, visit www.td.com/corporateresponsibility.
For more information contact Steve Erwin, Director of Communications at 519-973-4433.