The donor: Peter Viol
The gift: Raising $30,000
The cause: Regional Cardiac Care Centre at St. Mary's General Hospital in Kitchener, Ont.
Peter Viol and his wife, Monique, had been married for less than two years when Ms. Viol died during heart surgery. She was just 20 years old.
That was 1983 and Mr. Viol, now 64, is still struggling with the loss. Since then, he has had a long career as a police officer with the Waterloo Regional Police Service and taken up cycling to raise money for various charities. His cycling trips have included off-road excursions across much of Canada and the United States, as well as several treks from Waterloo to Ottawa. This year he is doing something different.
On Aug. 26, Mr. Viol will begin a ride on his own from Vancouver to Waterloo in memory of Monique. And he hopes to raise $30,000 for the Regional Cardiac Care Centre at St. Mary's General Hospital in Kitchener, Ont., in her honour.
"I've had to relive a lot of things that happened," he said, adding that it will be an emotional journey. "The grieving process is really open ended … Monique's death shaped my entire adult life."