It’s been a long road for 24-year-old Rance Cardinal, but the end is in sight.

The former Junior B hockey player set out from his hometown of Sioux Lookout, Ont. last month, walking all the way to Humboldt. His journey is meant to honour the 16 people killed and 13 injured when the Humboldt Broncos team bus collided with a semi-truck on April 6.

“I have a lot of emotions running through my mind right now,” Cardinal said. “The only thing I can say is, unreal.”

His journey will span three provinces and 1,200 kilometres.

The crash hit close to home for Cardinal. In 2013, he lost both his brother and a close friend. He remembers playing hockey with them growing up. Those memories are driving him on his journey.

Cardinal stopped in Regina on Thursday to rest and meet with supporters.

“We are so incredibly honoured,” said Meagan Ward, head of the welcoming committee. “There isn’t a person in Humboldt that isn’t blown away with honour that he is doing this trek for us.”

While no amount of walking can undo the events of April 6, the people of Humboldt are grateful for the support.

“It keeps coming back,” said Scott Thomas, whose son Evan died in the crash. “There’s so many people out there that just want to wrap you in their arms, tell you they’re thinking about you, and that continues to happen every day on so many levels.”

Cardinal says the last stretch will be the hardest. But, his message for the community is what will drive him to keep walking.

“For the people of Humboldt, this is a tough time,” he said. “My heart goes out to all of you. It’s just Humboldt Strong.”

Cardinal’s journey will wrap up in Humboldt on May 27.

Based on a report by CTV Regina's Josh Diaz