In SCI BC Event

Above photo: The Walk ‘n Rollers pose during the 2013 Scotiabank Charity Challenge. You guys rock!

This was Spinal Cord Injury BC (SCI BC)’s second year participating in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, and we were all blown away by the response from our greater community.

This year our team, The Walk ‘n Rollers, ballooned to include 34 members, and we exceeded our fundraising goal of $20,000.

“I was just astonished at how well we our team actually did. We had just an amazing turnout, and we blew past our fundraising goal. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish next year,” says Team Captain Brad Jacobsen.

Scotiabank Charity Challenge thank you video from Spinal Cord Injury BC

Click here to watch our short thank you video!

To date, we’ve raised a grand total of $27,200 and online fundraising isn’t closed until July 8th! SCI BC will be accepting donations by cash and check until July 27th.

To all our W alk ‘n Rollers, and our 333 generous team sponsors, we would like to extend a BIG thank you for completing the Scotiabank 5k Charity Challenge, and for all your help in raising funds for SCI BC. To show you our appreciation, we made you  this special video. We hope it makes you crack a smile.

The money you’ve raised will help us fund awesome events and provide Peer Support and Information Services for people with spinal cord injuries and related disabilities, and their families, across the province.

As promised, we gave out some great prizes to our fastest runner, our fastest wheeler and our best fundraiser. Here they are in case you missed them:

  • Michael Wilhelmson was our fastest runner, with a time of 25:18. He took home a $50 gift bag from Choices Market.
  • Raising a grand total of $2,620, Kirsten Sharp, was our best fundraiser this year. She won a weekend pass for two to the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Because she’ll be busy winning a tennis tournament that weekend, Kirsten graciously gave her festival passes to Nicholas Matous, who was the runner-up in our fundraising competition.
Dean Stoney, Angela Choi, Nick Matous and Shelley Milstein get ready for the 5k.

From left to right: Dean Stoney, Angela Choi, Harvey Barkey and Shelley Milstein get ready for the 5k.

This year’s Charity Challenge was also the setting for some major achievements by some of our team members.

A little over one year ago, Angela Choi and Dean Stoney were both in GF Strong rehabilitating from spinal cord injuries. Neither of them thought they would ever walk again. This spring, both of them joined our team, the Walk ‘n Rollers, and they were happy to meet again during the Scotiabank Charity Challenge—this time on their feet.

Angela Choi celebrated her 23rd birthday with us and walked the 5k, while Dean Stoney completed the entire course with the help of forearm crutches. “It was the single longest distance I’ve walked since my injury,” says Dean. “It felt great, although if you had asked me two days later I would have had a different answer. I was really sore.”

Meanwhile, the indefatigable Gerry Burns, a high-level incomplete quad, completed 3.1k using his walker just barely six months since he broke his back! Gerry worked for months to get back into shape and we were so grateful to have him back on our team.

Another big highlight for everyone was seeing the Matous clan show up in full force with family and friends to support Nicholas Matous, who pushed his own way for the majority of the 5k course—a huge achievement for someone with a high-level quadriplegic injury.

Team Captain Brad Jacobsen and Nicholas Matous

Team Captain Brad Jacobsen and Nicholas Matous

“As a fellow C5 quad, I know how challenging it is to wheel in a manual chair and to have seen him push the majority of the 5k was just awesome,” says Peer Program Coordinator Brad Jacobsen, who met Nicholas at GF strong. “I’ve been impressed with his fortitude and quiet inner strength when it comes to dealing with his injury. He’s had to grow up a lot faster than most 18-year-olds.”

All of our team members have incredible stories to tell, and we look forward to getting to know more of you next year. We have one final team member profile coming later this week, and next year we’ll make an effort to tell more of your stories.

If you haven’t had a chance to yet, check out our photos from the day and like us on Facebook so we can stay in touch!

And if you haven’t already, please share this story with your personal sponsors and donors to let them know how much we appreciate their support.

Since Spinal Cord Injury BC has one of the only teams with members who use mobility aids on the course, the Scotiabank Charity Challenge organizers are interested in hearing our feedback to make the event more accessible next year. If you have any suggestions, please email Candice at and we’ll make sure to pass your suggestions on to the event organizers.

Thanks again for all your hard work! We can’t wait to break a sweat with you all again next year.

Until then!

The staff at Spinal Cord Injury BC

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Showing 2 comments
  • Love Srivastava

    Great initiative for a noble cause, lovely pictures too. Would love to be a part someday!!!

    • Candice Vallantin

      Thanks Love! We will definitely be participating next year so keep an eye out for our updates.
      You can join our Facebook page (, follow us on Twitter ( or you can email me if you would like to receive email updates and I will add you to our monthly mailing list (
      Thanks for showing your support!

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