Father-daughter duo travelling the country on fundraising motorcycle ride
Published Saturday, August 20, 2016 5:52PM CST
Last Updated Saturday, August 20, 2016 7:27PM CST
Bruce Johnson, and his 15-year-old daughter Holly, is spending the month of August riding a motorcycle across Canada.
The pair is raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network, in honour of Bruce’s oldest daughter Alyssa.
“My wife and I lost a child in 1998 in the Sick Kid’s Hospital in Toronto,” Bruce said. “(It was) obviously a profoundly moving moment for our lives.”
Alyssa passed away at just 20 days old.
“We only had her for 20 days, but she left two big footprints on our hearts,” Bruce added.
Now, Bruce has teamed up with his second daughter, Holly, for the 9,400 kilometre trek. On Saturday, their journey made a stop in Regina.
Bruce said they often have “Alyssa moments” on their trip, giving Holly the chance to connect with the older sister she never met. The pair even spent some time travelling with another motorcyclist named Alyssa.
“We travelled with her for a few days and she was just incredible,” Holly said. “That was really cool, because there’s not that many people named Alyssa.”
The pair began their journey on August 1 in Newfoundland. They plan to stop at the 14 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country.
On Sunday, they’ll be stopping at the site of the new children’s hospital in Saskatoon, which is set to open its doors in 2019.
“It’s going to change a lot of lives, because you won’t have to send your kids to Winnipeg or to Edmonton or to Calgary,” Bruce said. “You can treat your children here.”
The trip has already raised more than $80,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network.
“We want to give back to the (Children’s Miracle Network),” Bruce said. “They’ve done a lot for my family.”
This is the second motorcycle trip Bruce and Holly have taken together. In 2013, they took a six week trip to Costa Rica and raised more than $100,000.
The pair has taken the time to meet with sick children at all of their hospital visits.
“It’s so important to understand that there are kids that aren’t as lucky and to reach out and help them in whatever way we can,” Holly said.
The Johnsons are also carrying a special flag with them on the journey. They encourage everyone to sign the flag and share their stories along the way.
“One of the brokers in Winnipeg, he lost a daughter at 14,” Bruce said. “When he signed his name, he put his daughter’s name on the flag, and we carry her with us now.”
The journey will wrap up at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital on August 31 in Vancouver.