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/

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.

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


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.

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