The gift: Raising $5,200 and climbing
The cause: Animal shelters in Saskatchewan
When Kris Mutafov's mother, Deanna Trowsdale-Mutafov, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Leiomyosarcoma, he took time off from university to be with her but he wanted to do much more.
"It came as a shock to all of us," said Mr. Mutafov, 20, who is from Regina and is a student at the University of British Columbia in Kelowna. "I wanted to show her how much I cared and show her that she could fight this."
Mr. Mutafov decided to organize a fundraising walk from Regina to Moose Jaw, which is about 70 kilometres. He wanted to raise money for cancer research but his mother, who is 53, had another idea. She asked him to donate the money to local animal shelters in both cities.
He did the first walk for charity last year, accompanied by his father, Peter, along with other family members and friends. They raised $2,700 that year for the Regina and Moose Jaw humane societies and did the walk again this summer, raising $2,500 for Bright Eyes Dog Rescue and Living Skies Wildlife Rehabilitation. Mr. Mutafov plans to make it an annual event and hopes more people will tag along.
His mother managed to join the group for part of the walk this summer, and Mr. Mutafov said she continues to battle the cancer. "She said to me, 'I am a fighter Kris and I'm going to keep fighting.'"