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Joey Payeur - Goalline Stand

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At journey's end, but not really

For 94 days, my goal was to get to the finish line.

Now that I have crossed it, I know the whole point of my adventure was to make sure it's not the finish, but a place from which to continue.

My Step Forward fundraiser came to a conclusion in the twilight of Monday as I completed a journey of over a million and a half steps (I guess I mis-titled the column) and more than 1,000 kilometres when you factor in my 10 kilometres or more per day on the La Verendrye Parkway winding parallel to Rainy River.

Cancer grounds greatest Jet

Earlier this month, cancer proved once again it does not act with discrimination.

It will attack you and weaken you and, in far too many cases, take your life and not care who you are or what you accomplished.

Cancer will pick on the poor as much as the rich, the unknown as much as the famous.

Its diabolical nature doesn't differentiate one potential victim from the other and doesn't care how much good you have done for others in this world - and it most certainly makes no exception based on your last name.

Tribute to a treasure


Some people walk through this world with hearts and spirits too big even for this world.

That's why God calls some of them home earlier than any of us wish.

That's what I have tried to tell myself over the past few days as our community deals with the passing of one of the brightest lights ever to shine in these parts.

Natalie Dal lived her life with unapologetic joy and passion and, in doing so, made the lives of all of us who knew her better.

Stars shining in dark times

I have felt honoured and privileged to be able to take the opportunity given me during this time of historic circumstances in our world to try and help out those in need.

Step Forward has been a great launchpad towards trying to make a difference for those less fortunate in our local area.

But I am far from the only person making an effort to lend a hand to those who need it most in the world.

Limits are only what you make them

I started the Step Forward campaign with the idea that making it to the million-step mark would be a fairly lofty goal.

Well, as the numbers down below show, that goal was not only attainable, but surpassable.

We spend much of our lives setting goals for ourselves.

Whether they are professional, personal, financial or otherwise, human nature dictates that we not only focus on the present, but set milestones to aim for down the road.

Cancer answers hard to come by

Next month sees the focus of my Step Forward fundraiser transition to the Riverside Health Foundation - Chemotherapy Unit.

Summarizing the impact cancer has on our world in 500 words would be like trying to review the entire Marvel Universe movie collection in a couple of paragraphs.

Cancer has such a universal reach that it's practically unfathomable to any of us.

If I issued you a challenge to find one person whose life has not been touched by cancer in some way, it might make for its own Mission:Impossible screenplay.

A cruise through the shoes

They say you should never judge another person until you have walked a mile in their shoes.

Take that idea and multiply it by 584 and you have a rough idea of the distance I'm traveling during the course of Step Forward.

Getting through this three-month odyssey wouldn't be possible if I didn't start planning from the ground up and what I have hitting the ground stride after stride.

When journeying a long way by foot, having the right footwear is crucial.

Age is just a number

So, this is 49.

Honestly, it doesn't look a whole bunch different from 48.

I finished one trip around the sun and started another one on Monday.

There were plenty of kind words and wishes from many I know both in person and online.

There were awesome gifts aplenty, way more than a fellow like me ever deserves.

One of those gifts came from a complete stranger - and the cool part is he doesn't even know he gave it to me.

Now, before you get all up in arms, no - I did not steal some unsuspecting person's wallet.

Getting older, trying to get wiser

Birthdays are a source of fear and trepidation for many, a sign they are one step closer to the end of the line.

I prefer a much different perspective every time July 13 rolls around. The way I look at it, it’s a reason for me to celebrate when that date comes up on the calendar because, for all the dumb things and bad choices I have made in my life, the bottom line is I am quite fortunate to still be shuffling through this old world at all as I near the brink of turning 49.

A new month, a new cause

To say that the first month or so of the Step Forward campaign has exceeded my expectations would be a massive understatement.

People both near and far have made it known that they are good-hearted folks who want to lend a hand to those less fortunate.

The result has been exactly $1,500 raised so far for the United Native Friendship Centre Food Bank.

I honestly would have been happy with any amount raised to help feed those in our area who rely on the food bank to make sure they and their loved ones have enough to eat on a daily basis.