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August 31st, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 34
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Man riding the Rockies for Epilepsy gets helping hand
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Source: internet
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
Imagine, you’re a 60-year old man and your physician tells you that you have epilepsy.

All of a sudden you’re stripped of a driver’s licence, you’re more-or-less unemployable, you’re prescribed strong antiepileptic drugs but they don’t really work and, on top of all that, you’re experiencing two to three seizures a day.

What do you do?

If you’re Calgary man Cam Keith you hop on your bike and set out on an epic Ride of the Rockies for Epilepsy to raise funds for the Seizure Monitoring Unit (SMU), a specialized four-bed inpatient unit at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary.

Of course he faced obstacles along the way.

Throughout July, Keith was hauling through B.C. and Alberta. Nearing the end of his journey he found himself traveling up Highway 3 on his way back to Calgary. He’d already biked about 3,800 kilometres. He was making the arduous uphill journey from Sparwood to the Pass when disaster struck.
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“I was crossing over a bridge when in an instant my rear derailleur was shredded,” he said.

Keith’s derailleur had become entwined in his spokes. He couldn’t even roll the bike, which was weighed down with all his camping supplies and he was all by himself in the woods. Keith was in a pickle.

Luckily, Crowsnest resident Jay and Sheehan Yanota happened to by cycling down the road. After introductions, the Yanotas helped drag Keith’s bike back to their vehicle, gave him a ride into town and called ahead to the Alpenland bike shop in Blairmore.

Alpenland had the parts to fix his bike and mechanics got to work. Jay paid the $100 fee.

“Why not? Here’s a guy who’s trying to do something very noble,” said Jay. “Life throws things at you and sometimes you have to fight them yourself and sometimes you get some help.”

For their part, Alpenland staff supplied the parts at cost and threw in the labour for free. His bike fixed, Keith was off on his way later that evening and stopped at a Bellevue campground for the night. He’s since completed his journey but he remembers the kindness of Crowsnest residents.
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“Mr. Yanota gave no alternative. He was paying for the parts and labour. Choked me up pretty good to experience such generosity,” said Keith.

According to Calgary Health Trust, Keith was diagnosed in 2012. In 2014, Cam spent two weeks in the SMU. He was connected to a computer with electrodes attached to his head and he was monitored 24 hours a day. His mobility was severely limited by the length of the cables, which allowed him to walk about 15 meters to the washroom and an exercise bike.

In that challenging time, he got to thinking about the incredible people who were trying to make a difference to his life. He began planning a long bike ride to express his gratitude to all the doctors, disciplines and supporting staff.

In 2015, he set out on his first ride through the Canadian Rockies to raise awareness of adult epilepsy and raise funds for research. He biked approximately 2,000 kilometres throughout the month of July.
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August 31st ~ Vol. 85 No. 34
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