Over 50 Nanoose Bay Elementary students and adults were in Vancouver last week to help welcome the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen relay home from their cross country trek.
Inspired by Hansen’s efforts for spinal cord injury, both this spring and 25 years ago, Maya and Hannah Cudney sold over 500 Hope Ropes to raise more than $5,300.
As one of the top individual fundraisers in the country, Maya was hand picked to take part in the final day of the relay and got to walk into a crowd of hundreds of supporters in Terry Fox Plaza at BC Place Stadium, including her family, friends and fellow students.
“It was really inspiring to see,” she said and several days later was still beaming from the experience.
“It was the best thing I’ve done in my life,” she said adding that she is inspired to continue the Hope Rope fundraising efforts she started more than four years ago for cancer awareness. She said she will continue to explore other avenues for the Hope Ropes, explaining “everyone has their own hope.”
Maya and her mother Maureen stressed that the Nanoose Bay school and community have been “beyond phenomenal” in their support.
Maya said that even with all the excitement of the crowds cheering in the streets and the evening’s concert with the likes of Sarah McLachlan, Jann Arden and David Foster, one of her favourite parts was getting to talk to Hansen himself.
“He blocks everything else out and just talks to you,” she said, pointing out that he remembered them from an event in Victoria weeks earlier.
Hope Ropes can still be purchased, or donations made to the Rick Hansen Foundation, through Maya’s website at www.hoperope.ca. Tax receipts are issued for donations over $20.