'I’m going to do whatever it takes': Waterloo man with cerebral palsy taking on Terry Fox Walk

It’s an event that’s been inspiring Canadians, and raising money for cancer research, for decades.

The Terry Fox Walk and Run is happening this Sunday in communities across the country.

It will be a special day for one Waterloo man who has been training for the event for 18 months.

Dave Dame is determined to accomplish his goal of walking five kilometres for the event.

“Whether it’s two hours or four hours, I’m going to do whatever it takes to get over that finish line,” said Dave Dame, a Waterloo resident.

Dame has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair, but that hasn’t stopped him from training and losing more than 50 pounds in the process.

“Like everybody I’ve had loved ones impacted with cancer and when I don’t think I have much to go or I don’t have the energy to train like everybody else, every excuse goes in your head, but I think about them and I think of people with cancer and that motivates me to keep pushing through,” he said.

So far, he’s fundraised more than $40,000 for cancer research this year.

And this is the second time Dame has participated in the event.

“He brought it to me that he was going to do this again and I was like that’s amazing,” said Kelly Dame, Dave’s wife. “And we tagged it, Dave’s five kilometres at 50.”

Dame will be kicking off the walk at Waterloo Park on Sunday.

Organizers say the event will be hybrid, meaning participants can join in-person with COVID-19 protocols in place, or they can complete the walk and run at home virtually.

“It’s still virtual, so you can still do it in your own backyard and in your neighbourhood with your friends socially distanced or you can come out and support Dave Dame and his team,” said Derek Hergott, Terry Fox Walk and Run organizer.

It’s been a journey for Dame, but he hopes to accomplish his goal on Sunday and inspire others along the way.

“Having cerebral palsy means being creative, being diligent , and really looking for new ways to exercise,” he said.