Dwayne Buckle stops for a group picture with PHFR on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

Dwayne Buckle stops for a group picture with PHFR on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

VIDEO: Icy plunge marks end of Red Deer firefighter’s trek across B.C. for cancer

Dwayne Buckle completes 12-week march from Red Deer to Port Hardy

A journey that started in Alberta nearly three months ago came to an end on the tip of northern Vancouver Island this weekend with a leap into the cold depths of the ocean.

Dwayne Buckle is a firefighter who walked from Red Deer, across the Rockies, through the Kootenays, into the Lower Mainland, and all the way up Vancouver Island to Port Hardy to raise funds for cancer.

RELATED: Dwayne Buckle is in Golden, making his way to Vancouver Island

Buckle set out from Red Deer on Oct. 21, stating the reason behind the hike was that he had three family members who had passed away from cancer: “my grandfather, my auntie, and my cousin.”

After coming up with the idea that he was going to ‘hike for the cure,’ it only took him five days to actually hit the road after making up his mind.

“I’d been sitting back thinking about how my family pushed me and never gave up and made me fight for everything I wanted,” he said, noting it was actually his aunt who was really instrumental in helping him achieve his goals in life, and this was how he wanted to honour his family.

The hike from Red Deer to B.C.’s Lower Mainland featured one of the toughest parts of the journey, Rogers Pass — a dangerous crossing in the Selkirk Mountains east of Revelstoke. This was the only part of the journey he had a support vehicle with him, Buckle said that was due to his friends not wanting him “to get stuck in the snow tunnels or the crazy weather conditions at the top.”

After catching the ferry to Vancouver Island, Buckle started the final part of his 1,500 km trek. He said it was “eventful, very physical, with lots of beautiful scenery along the way, and of course there were some big challenges like weather, traffic, and road conditions.”

“As I started coming up-Island, I met so many amazing people who were very kind and helped me get to the end.”

Buckle even had a run-in with a cougar during the hike. He reached for his phone instead of his knife, “but by the time I got my phone out it was already in the bush again,” he laughed.

After travelling with fire crews following him through Sayward, Woss, and Port McNeill, he woke up on the morning of Jan. 10 ready to finish his journey.

“It was like every other morning, but I was stoked, I knew this was the end and I was ready to push,” he said.

Due to extremely rainy weather conditions, his gear bag, which normally weighs 45 pounds, swelled to about 50 pounds, but that didn’t stop Buckle as he kept moving through the storm.

Port Hardy Fire Rescue met him at the ‘Welcome to Port Hardy’ sign, and from there they walked with him into town.

As he came around the bend at the top of the hill overlooking Carrot Park, he saw the ocean waiting for him at the bottom of the hill.

The only thing going through Buckle’s head at that moment was “I came this far, let’s get it done.”

He walked down the hill right into Carrot Park, and then kept going straight to the ocean and dove in. He then dove in a second time.

Why the second dive, you might be wondering?

“I’ve had a lot of conversations with people dealing with cancer and they said in the cancer unit they have a bell for the last treatment of chemo, and a few followers asked me to jump in the ocean for a second time, so that’s what the second leap was for,” he explained.

Above all else he wanted to acknowledge his aunt Sharon Ancelet, his cousin Lyle Ancelet, his grandfather Victor Carpenado, “and anybody else out there who’s dealing with cancer or suffering from it, this was all in support of them as well.”

After 82 days on the road, he added he’s feeling sore, and that it will take “about a month to get my feet adjusted and my bones back to normal.”

With only a few rest days in Port Hardy, he will heal up and then head back to Red Deer.

“I’ve got a lot of people asking, ‘oh are you hiking it’ and I’m like ‘no no, I’m busing it this time,’” he laughed.

Buckle’s fundraising goal is $2,500, which he estimates he will definitely be hitting before he leaves Port Hardy to go back home.


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Cancerfundraiser

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

After jumping in the ocean, Dwayne Buckle was given donations from various people, including Weston Ireton (right) and his brother Beckett. Weston is now cancer free after a two-year battle with leukemia. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

After jumping in the ocean, Dwayne Buckle was given donations from various people, including Weston Ireton (right) and his brother Beckett. Weston is now cancer free after a two-year battle with leukemia. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

Just Posted

Staff at Bruce’s Country Market are being asked to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 after an exposure at the Maple Ridge grocery store. (The News files)
Employee at Maple Ridge grocery store tests positive for COVID-19

All other staff in the department have tested negative for disease

Alouette Heights.
Fire at Alouette Heights in Maple Ridge puts half of residents out of their units

Coast Mental Health said fire was small, but sprinkler system caused damage

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Myrna Norman credits social activity for her success fighting dementia. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge woman writes inspirational book documenting living with dementia

Myrna Norman has been an active community advocate for de-stigmatizing the debilitating disease

Betty Dubé with her daughters, campaigned for Maple Ridge mayor and was elected in 1974. (Maple Ridge Museum)
LOOKING BACK: Women involved in Maple Ridge politics for decades

A look at local women in public office as the U.S. inaugurates its first female vice president

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual offences involving a minor in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Second doses delayed as B.C. vaccine delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is permanently closing, with plans to eventually set up in Armstrong, B.C. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford Tulip Festival is closing, with plans to rebloom in Armstrong

Event organizer says pandemic and sale of land were factors in decision

Most Read