Relay for Life needs better wheelchair accessibility

"I was told that people in wheelchairs could bypass the hill and cut across the grass. I have a few problems with that."

Gyro Park is a central, grassy, shady location rendering it a very nice place to hold Trail’s Relay for Life.

A major targeted demographic for this event would be the cancer survivors themselves.

At the beginning of the Relay for Life, the survivors commence by walking an honourary lap that is supposed to promote hope and good feelings.

The problem is, though, at Gyro, half the track is sloped. I personally know many survivors that are in wheelchairs, or that need walkers to get around.

How are they expected to participate in the walk when they can’t get themselves around the track?

I was told that people in wheelchairs could bypass the hill and cut across the grass.

I have a few problems with that.

First, my aunt Kim, who has been in a wheelchair for almost 30 years makes a point of counting out how many laps she can do by herself. Now, she is either cutting off half the lap, or she is needing to be pushed up and down the slope; neither of these things contributing to the feeling of independence that the Relay for Life once gave her.

Second, have you ever pushed yourself across grass in a wheelchair? I have, and let me tell you that it is a very uncomfortable, exhausting experience. The notion that the committee is expecting the cancer survivors, and other long-time participants to struggle at an event where they once thrived is just appalling.

I realize there are many reasons the committee decided to have the Relay for Life at Gyro Park, and I could argue many of them, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

I understand that those without physical disabilities don’t see the difference between Hayley Park and Gyro Park, but that’s why I felt that this letter needed to be written.

I hope I have raised at least some awareness towards the harm being done by hosting the Relay for Life at Gyro Park.

Kennady KeraiffTrail

Just Posted

IRM reports small sulphuric acid leak at Waneta reload

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

New farmers in Columbia Basin supported by land matching program

New and young farmers in the Basin are receiving support and services from a dedicated land matcher

Columbia Basin Trust offering business accelerator program

Trust seeking motivated companies for customized support and mentorship program

Trail military exercises provide crucial training

Exercise Sapper Crucible: ‘The nuts and bolts of what a soldier is’

VIDEO: SPCA ushers in new era with Castlegar facility

$2.69-million project had ribbon cutting on Friday

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

B.C. VIEWS: Looking under the hood of ICBC’s war on crashes

Is our accident rate really soaring, or is it inefficiency?

B.C. tent city residents have three weeks to clear out: Supreme Court

Fire risk, criminal activity in neighbourhood cited as reasons for judgment

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

16 people died when Humboldt Broncos bus collided with a semi-truck in rural Saskatchewan

The Vatican ‘owes God an apology,’ activist says in letter to Pope Francis

Letter came after a report on sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

Most Read