Ian Bos here in Thunder Bay with Hospice Northwest Chair, Kathy Kortes-Miller
THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO --- August 13, 2015 --- Ian Bos walking across Canada Visited Thunder Bay's Hospice Northwest. On May 21 2015, 39 year old Ian Bos, alone and on foot with nothing but a backpack and a cell phone, embarked on an incredible cross country journey in memory of his late father, Ted Bos, in hopes of raising awareness and funds for hospice palliative care in Canada.
Bos is walking an average 40 km a day, stopping along the way to participate in local events and fund raising activities to generate awareness regarding the benefits of hospice palliative care. On August 5 and 6, he will be stopping in Thunder Bay, meeting with the local palliative care community and speaking about his experiences. His stay here will be hosted by Hospice Northwest. Hospice Northwest is a local non-profit organization dedicated to providing compassionate support to individuals and their caregivers as they face the challenges of living with a life-threatening illness.
Bos is encouraging Canadians to connect with him along the route and to support hospice palliative care in Canada by texting ‘hospice’ to 20222, making a donation via his website or donating to a local hospice organization such as Hospice Northwest.
Inspired to walk across Canada in honour of the hospice palliative care his father received before he passed away, Bos hopes to engage Canadians in the conversation regarding end-of-life care while raising $25,000 to support access to care in communities across the country.
After his diagnosis January 2014, Bos’ father Ted endured unsuccessful treatment and surgery before being referred to hospice care in Nova Scotia. Bos passionately describes the palliative care team’s attention to his father’s symptoms, fears and frustrations responding with respect, empathy and support. The team provided the “confidence and support we needed as a family to care for him while also giving him the ability to maintain his independence,” says Bos.
Aside from raising money to support hospice palliative care, Ian hopes the walk will also draw attention to this service, which is vital to the local community and the country at large. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Research, only about 1 in 3 Canadians facing end-of-life illnesses have access to palliative care, which is defined as an approach to care focusing on the quality of life in the time remaining. With an aging population and diminishing resources in the Canadian medical system, this approach to service will only become more vital, as it allows people to stay at home longer.
Ian will visit the Terry Fox Memorial on August 6, prior to his departure from the city. Dr. Geoff Davis, who cared for Terry Fox during his time in Thunder Bay, will speak a few words, as well as John Rafferty, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River. The Thunder Mountain Women’s Drumming Group will also perform and then a group of supporters will walk Ian out to the highway as he continues his journey across Canada. Everyone is welcome to come out to the Terry Fox Memorial to meet Ian and hear him speak.