Age: 36 years old
Occupation: Mechanical Planner/Scheduler in the Petrochemical Industry, member of Local 663
Hometown: Sarnia, Ontario
Family: Single father of 2 amazing and inspirational young boys, Jesse 3, and Jett 5
My biggest physical accomplishment(s) to date: Ironman Lake Placid 2003
In the News: Riding for son
In the News: From sea to sea
In the News: Cross-Canada bike trek under way
In the News: Cancer ride reaches Ontario
In the News: He made it
Inspiration, passion and appreciation for life
My cycling began back in high school mostly to train for the long awaited hockey season. I have always had a passion for the two sports, and continue to enjoy them both today. I went on to study Physical Education at Brock University were hockey was complemented with field lacrosse. After graduation and in my later twenties I decided to complete a Plumbing/Steamfitting apprenticeship. Now away from the sporting environment, I began to search for a new interest and landed in the world of triathlon. From there the distances became longer and the challenges more extreme. I completed Ironman Lake Placid in 2003 one month before the arrival of my first son. Now it was time for a new chapter in my life, fatherhood would be my next challenge, and what a wonderful experience it has turned out to be. Today I am employed as a Mechanical Planner/Scheduler, coach 4 and 5 year olds instructional hockey on weekends, and I am now preparing for an adventure of a lifetime.
This past year has opened my eyes to the devastating world of childhood cancer. On January 29th, 2008 my youngest son Jesse, at the young age of 2, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain stem tumour. Our wonderful family, marriage and lives have changed forever. Prognosis was poor, but through countless surgeries, radiation treatments, and Jesse’s pure determination to survive, he is healthy, happy, and a beautiful young boy today. His tumour is dormant at this time, and will continue to be monitored every 3 months at the London Children’s Hospital. We live day to day, and will never know a definite prognosis for my son, but to have this present time to share, play, run, bike, skate and laugh is truly a miracle. We tend to take these basic things in life for granted, but in reality they are the most precious. Jesse’s favorite things are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, especially Raphael, and the Power Rangers of whom he is always the red guy. His best friend and brother Jett has made such a positive impact in his life. He takes his little brother under his wing, he looks out for him, and helps him along whenever needed. I am so proud of my boys they truly are my inspiration. Jesse’s website is located at www.caringbridge.com visit jessemorningstar to meet my little Ironman.
Cancer can destroy so much, it does not discriminate, nor is it compassionate. Children’s cancer is the leading cause of non-accidental deaths for children living in Canada. What these children have to go through for a chance of survival I have seen first hand and it is just not fair. We pray, think positive, and are filled with hope that someday there will be treatment to save our kids. We will get there, we will beat cancer. Through cancer support programs families like mine are relieved from so many other stresses associated with this emotional nightmare. Cancer touches everyone, and everyone should put forth an effort to assist pediatric oncology research, and to improve the quality of life for the children and their families living with and beyond childhood cancer. I make a pledge to cycle across Canada to raise as much awareness and financial resources as I can along the way to help fund research, support programs, and most importantly put an end to childhood cancer. I am passionate about this cause, I believe it will benefit my own son and many others just like him. I dedicate this ride to my boys Jett and Jesse whom have each gone through more than anyone should ever endure.
“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible”…….Superman.