Cycle to Walk journey raises $300,000

By on December 1, 2008

After an epic 7,110-km hand-cyling journey across Canada, the son of a retired bishop of the diocese of Algoma has raised $300,000 for polio eradication, education, and rehabilitation.

Ramesh Ferris, the son of Bishop Ron Ferris, launched the Cycle to Walk campaign on April 12 to raise funds and awareness for the global eradication of polio and to help support the rehabilitation of polio survivors in poor countries.

His campaign, which began on the 53rd anniversary of the release of Dr. Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine, ended on Oct. 1 in Cape Spear, Nfld., the same place where Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope campaign began. By then, Mr. Ferris, himself a polio survivor, had spent 173 days on the road.

“Polio is now back on the forefront for Canadians,” Mr. Ferris said upon his arrival at St. John’s, Nfld., where a crowd that included local dignitaries and children in bicycles greeted him. “We need to continue to put it back on the forefront until the world is declared polio-free.”

Mr. Ferris launched the campaign after visiting India to meet his biological mother and visit the orphanage he once called home. Once there, he saw “the devastating reality” for polio victims with no rehabilitative support.

Mr. Ferris contracted polio at six months old and his biological mother, who could not afford to care for him, put him up for adoption. He was adopted by Bishop Ferris and his wife, Jan, in 1982.

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