Celebrated Canadian humanitarian, lung cancer survivor and Memory Makers for Alzheimer's champion Chad Cieslik, aged 68, Alinkered an epic 1000 kms across Ontario this month to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's research.
In 2010, Chad founded Butterfly of Hope, a constantly growing community of hundreds of Canadians united against cancer and various diseases, to honour those who have lost their battle, and to celebrate the survivors. Its name originates in ’the butterfly effect’– the theory that a butterfly flapping its wings in Beijing can cause hurricanes in the Atlantic. Over the past 14 years, Chad aka Papa B has walked tens of thousands of kilometres across Canada, and together with his Butterfly of Hope teams has raised over $2.6 million dollars to fund research and patient support.
”The urge to carry this torch initially came in 2003 from my mother-in-law’s battle with breast cancer, which she unfortunately lost in 2005, then my mother’s diagnosis in 2006,” Chad recalls. ”The walks helped save other people’s lives, and also prepared me for the dark times that followed, as in 2009 I was struck with stage-2 lung cancer and a tumour on my lower spine. The bonds made throughout the years with many other people affected by cancer kept me going, and made us all stronger.”
Chad completed his 1000-km walk on the Alinker R-volution, the innovative walking-assist device created by Dutch-Canadian designer BE Alink for everyone who wants to stay active, regardless of possible mobility challenges. The Alinker is one of the Top 5 SheEO Canadian Ventures and was Best Innovation Finalist in the 2017 Small Business BC Awards. LA Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Moscow featured the Alinker during the October 2016 shows by Bezgraniz Couture, a world-class designer of cool and wearABLE clothing for people with disabilities.
This was Chad's 103rd and longest fundraising walk, and he was ready to do it with the passionate selflessness he has proven time and time again at One Walk to End Cancer, 25-km and 100-km Walk for SickKids, the 24-hour 100-km Mont Tremblant Marathon, Weekend to End Breast Cancer, Weekend to End Women’s Cancers, Ride to Conquer Cancer, Relay for Life, CIBC Run for the Cure, Walk for Memories, and also food banks, the Stoney Creek Minor Hockey Association and Stoney Creek Women’s Hockey League.
“There are so many answers still to be found, and every dollar that we raise gets us one step closer,” Chad adds. “This is what it's all about: giving people hope that we are on the right path. ”In 2014, the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce honoured Chad Cieslik with the Citizen of the Year recognition.
Chad has passed away on 23rd Jan 2018 due to a cardiac incident, please read: Hamilton News