“A Human Thing”
From the Journal April 1999:
We have received a Castlegar Sun newspaper clipping about “Mounties Marathon For Nick”.
The sting of open blisters, ache of punished muscles and chill of cold spring mornings have long faded, but the triumph and pleasure of the Mounties Marathon for Nick is something those who were involved will never forget.
“Emotions were high and we were all very tired. I don’t think there was a person there who didn’t have blisters, but when they saw Nick, their faces just lit up,” said Cpl. Don Woodhouse of the Castlegar RCMP.
Woodhouse said when he arrived he and auxiliary RCMP officer Russ M (Russ is our personal family friend) went to Nicholas’ room while the others stayed in the lobby. The first sight of Nicholas was one they are unlikely to forget.
“He was in bed getting treatment. This is a little boy who had tubes directly to his heart and lungs.”
Despite the tubes and his frail health, said Woodhouse, Nicholas resisted the use of a wheelchair and insisted on walking down to greet his well-wishers.
When he stepped out of the elevator, it was an emotional time for all.
“He was excited to come down and see us. I don’t know who was more excited – them or him. There was a round of applause and everyone shook his hand. I think a few members were taken aback by him, there were some tears. Just to see him standing there meant a lot. He’s a very sick boy.”
Woodhouse said although the run was done for Nicholas, RCMP also had another reason for the marathon.
“This is also a run to draw attention to children with leukemia. The effort that is put into other things amazes me when we can’t put more effort into things like this.”
Woodhouse said a lot of people should be credited for the marathon. Although many assisted, only a few actually ran – others stayed behind to run the detachment while many such as the runner’s family members cooked the food they took including a complete Easter Sunday supper. One business supplied the motor home while others supported the Mounties Marathon for Nick T-shirts.
The community effort and support, was greatly appreciated.
“It was a long weekend and there were Castlegar people who were traveling out of town who stopped and talked or drove by and honked. As we ran through the towns we heard nothing but good things, how a community as small as Castlegar could do something like this. They would say, ‘How can a little community do this?’
One of those towns showed its generosity.
“We ran past the Agassiz prison. Later when we got back there was a phone call from the prison. A bunch of prisoners saw us run and wanted to make a donation – they want to send $1000. It shows there was no police/bad guy thing. This is a human thing.”