CTV’s Will Aiello creates new initiative for a good cause

Will Aiello says he came up with this initiative to not only raise money for the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders in honour of his late brother-in-law but also to raise awareness and to change people’s lives for the better. June 30/21 (Molly Frommer/CTV News Northern Ontario)

Paddle with Purpose is a new initiative created by CTV Northern Ontario’s very own Will Aiello. He will be paddle boarding on one of Sudbury’s most popular lakes while raising money and awareness for a good cause.

On Aug. 4. Will Aiello will be stand up paddle boarding for 24 hours straight on Ramsey Lake, in honour of someone very close to his heart.

“I’m going to be doing this to raise charity money and awareness for CORD. They are the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders and I am going to be doing this in memory of my brother in law Mario La Valle,” said Aiello.

La Valle passed away in 2019 from an extremely rare form of cancer. Aiello says he is the driving force behind the entire campaign.

“Mario was the most incredible person that I had ever met. You look at somebody that you would want to take care of your sister for the rest of your life and he was that guy,” said Aiello.

“He was a brother to me and all he ever did was create positive change. So, I wanted to do something in his memory, and honour where I’m able, to create positive change.”

Aiello says he came up with this initiative to not only raise money for the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders but also to raise awareness and to change people’s lives for the better.

“Not a lot of people are aware of these rare disorders and I think it’s important that we shine a light on that,” said Aiello.

Officials with Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders say approximately three million Canadians are affected by these health issues, which is why they were happy to team up with Aiello for such a great cause.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that not only is he raising the funds for us but he’s also raising awareness around rare diseases. Certainly around clinicians who may actually be baffled and really have not considered whether it’s a rare disease,” said Durhane Wong-Rieger, CEO with Canadian Organization for Rate Disorders.

“We have six or seven thousand rare diseases. We do not expect anyone to know all these diseases but we do expect that if in fact you are approached with something that could be a rare disease that you could take that next step.”

Aiello says he’s been training for this 24 paddle board trip since March, both in the gym, and on the water.