500kms


That's how many kilometres Dee Gordon just walked. Her journey started on January 15th at 4:30am from her home in Etobicoke North. Her destination was Parliament Hill in Ottawa over 500km away. Why did she do it? To draw attention to a cause close to her heart: her son Jacob. Jacob is 14 years old and has autism spectrum disorder. She chose to do the walk in January because "every single day is like a snow storm for her son". She walked to Ottawa as part of her campaign for the Canadian government to come up with a pan-Canadian Strategy for autism that includes: awareness and education campaigns; child, adolescent and adult intervention; innovative funding arrangements for financing therapy, surveillance, respite care, community initiatives, and research. A petition in support of this can be found on her website at: http://www.walktoottawa.org/

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Dee with her family

A meet and greet was planned in honour of Dee after her walk to Ottawa. Wanting to make it special for Dee (but do to the lack of funding) a call when out on Facebook to help with snacks and refreshments for the event. I should note that this call went out less than 24 hours before the event. I saw the request, read about the story, and knew right away that this was something Ottawa Foodie Girlz wanted to help out with. In less than 30 minutes, I had spoken to the volunteer and President of the Austism Ontario, Ottawa Chapter and everything was in place.

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Dee speaking about her reasons for doing the walk and why it's so important.

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So much support for Dee. Top left: Mike Lake, MP; Top right: Andrew Wilson, President of Autism Ontario - Ottawa Chapter; Bottom Left: Senator Jim Munson; Bottom Right: Jacob, Dee, and Mountains of Blue[/caption] I shared the story with fellow Foodie Girlz yesterday morning and by noon we had everything we needed. I attended the event last night and had the honour of meeting Dee. I had a conversion with her and told her my personal story about why fundraising, supporting others, and paying it forward is such a big part of Ottawa Foodie Girlz. So, moved by this, she asked me to tell everyone my story. I was shocked, humbled, and but also happy to share my story hoping that it may help someone else or inspire someone to pay it forward.

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Judy and Dee

Dee herself is a true inspiration. She’s not only a wonderful mother, she is a committed advocate for all children in Canada with autism. Participating in yesterday’s event t was a great experience for me! Ottawa Foodie Girlz was so happy to be a part of this and have made connections within this community and we hope to continue to work with them in the future. Resources in the Ottawa area: Autism Ontario - Ottawa Chapter Mountains of Blue