Oh, we can beat them, forever and ever. Then we could be heroes just for one day.
David Bowie – Heroes
by Michael G. Redfearn
As if dangling on the edge of one of the world’s tallest freestanding structures were not challenge enough. Mother nature had to taunt and slap us with cold, wind, rain and the threat of lightning on this year’s World Meningitis Day.
But the cruel weather only seemed to spur on the walkers and their loyal supporters – all of whom, in some way or another, have been profoundly impacted by this horrific disease. The World Meningitis Day CN Tower EdgeWalk event was just one of dozens of global events held to raise awareness around a lightning-fast disease that, in matter of hours, can cause loss of limbs, deafness, brain damage, memory loss or death.
The brain-child of Bob Werner, founder of the Becky Werner Meningitis Foundation, World Meningitis Day (WMD held annually on April 24th) is coordinated and promoted by the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO) based in Perth, Australia. WMD is a great opportunity to help prevent meningitis globally, by ensuring families worldwide have access to early diagnosis, preventative measures and quick treatment.
Motivated by the devastating loss of: Michael Longo (1995), MacKenzie (Macey) Clough (2005) and Jamie Lynn Ingham (2011) – atop one of the world’s tallest man-made structures – the six Canadian EdgeWalkers joined hands in solidarity with Canadian families and families around the world whose lives have been forever altered by meningitis.
Perhaps the most enduring lesson from WMD 2013 is that when we all band together in a common, noble cause to share our talents, we gain incredible strength and power. And when we harness the power of the human spirit to protect others, we begin to heal ourselves and reaffirm that with love and hope – anything is possible.
In Memory of: Michael Longo, MacKenzie (Macey) Clough, Jamie Lynn Ingham and all those around the world whose lives have been cut short or forever changed by meningitis.