Crisscrossing the Country for Hospice Care

Two men, two years apart, go across Canada to honour their dads and raise awareness for palliative care

In 2015, Ian Bos set out to walk 5,464kms across Canada in memory of his father and to raise awareness and funds for hospice and palliative care. He started in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, where his father received care at the Aberdeen Palliative Care Society. In October, he arrived in Victoria, BC, where he had been living before he moved home to care for his father, Ted.

The amazing and compassionate people I met all along the way only reinforced how vital it is to both live and die well. My father had that good fortune,” said Ian Bos, reflecting on his journey.

Fast-forward to May 2017 when Kane Mercer launched his cross-country ride in memory of his father, Randy, from Gonzales Beach in Victoria. Randy was diagnosed with terminal cancer in December 2011. Kane had just moved to Japan and his father insisted that quitting his new job and moving home was out of the question. Randy wanted Kane to follow his dream of living, working and cycling across parts of Japan and Korea.  

In honour of the fifth year since his passing, Kane is keeping the memory of his father alive with this epic cycling tour across Canada called Ride for Rand. "Like life, long journeys can be challenging and full of unexpected difficulties. But through a positive attitude, support from friendly people, and a consistent effort, these hurdles can be overcome," Kane said before he set out.

I decided to make this ride in support of Victoria Hospice in acknowledgment of the support they gave my father and my family. Hospice is a chronically underfunded and neglected area which I feel deserves attention.”

When Kane Mercer heard Ian’s story he decided to end his journey in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, where Ian and the Aberdeen Palliative Care Society will give him a warm welcome. If there is anyone who understands Kane’s journey across Canada and how it will feel at the finish line, it will be Ian.

While both of these cross-country journeys were deeply personal they have drawn attention to the critical need for support of hospice palliative care across Canada. Donations fund almost half of Victoria Hospice’s annual operating costs. Critical funds enable us to provide the best possible end-of-life care. 

Kane will arrive back in Vancouver by Train on August 28th and will be attending UVIC in the fall.   

Quality palliative and end-of-life care for all: Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for those facing life-limiting illness, death and bereavement through patient and family centred care, education, research and advocacy.