Dwayne Buckle stops for a group picture with PHFR on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

Dwayne Buckle stops for a group picture with PHFR on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

VIDEO: Icy plunge marks end of Red Deer firefighter’s trek across B.C. for cancer

Dwayne Buckle completes 12-week march from Red Deer to Port Hardy

A journey that started in Alberta nearly three months ago came to an end on the tip of northern Vancouver Island this weekend with a leap into the cold depths of the ocean.

Dwayne Buckle is a firefighter who walked from Red Deer, across the Rockies, through the Kootenays, into the Lower Mainland, and all the way up Vancouver Island to Port Hardy to raise funds for cancer.

RELATED: Dwayne Buckle is in Golden, making his way to Vancouver Island

Buckle set out from Red Deer on Oct. 21, stating the reason behind the hike was that he had three family members who had passed away from cancer: “my grandfather, my auntie, and my cousin.”

After coming up with the idea that he was going to ‘hike for the cure,’ it only took him five days to actually hit the road after making up his mind.

“I’d been sitting back thinking about how my family pushed me and never gave up and made me fight for everything I wanted,” he said, noting it was actually his aunt who was really instrumental in helping him achieve his goals in life, and this was how he wanted to honour his family.

The hike from Red Deer to B.C.’s Lower Mainland featured one of the toughest parts of the journey, Rogers Pass — a dangerous crossing in the Selkirk Mountains east of Revelstoke. This was the only part of the journey he had a support vehicle with him, Buckle said that was due to his friends not wanting him “to get stuck in the snow tunnels or the crazy weather conditions at the top.”

After catching the ferry to Vancouver Island, Buckle started the final part of his 1,500 km trek. He said it was “eventful, very physical, with lots of beautiful scenery along the way, and of course there were some big challenges like weather, traffic, and road conditions.”

“As I started coming up-Island, I met so many amazing people who were very kind and helped me get to the end.”

Buckle even had a run-in with a cougar during the hike. He reached for his phone instead of his knife, “but by the time I got my phone out it was already in the bush again,” he laughed.

After travelling with fire crews following him through Sayward, Woss, and Port McNeill, he woke up on the morning of Jan. 10 ready to finish his journey.

“It was like every other morning, but I was stoked, I knew this was the end and I was ready to push,” he said.

Due to extremely rainy weather conditions, his gear bag, which normally weighs 45 pounds, swelled to about 50 pounds, but that didn’t stop Buckle as he kept moving through the storm.

Port Hardy Fire Rescue met him at the ‘Welcome to Port Hardy’ sign, and from there they walked with him into town.

As he came around the bend at the top of the hill overlooking Carrot Park, he saw the ocean waiting for him at the bottom of the hill.

The only thing going through Buckle’s head at that moment was “I came this far, let’s get it done.”

He walked down the hill right into Carrot Park, and then kept going straight to the ocean and dove in. He then dove in a second time.

Why the second dive, you might be wondering?

“I’ve had a lot of conversations with people dealing with cancer and they said in the cancer unit they have a bell for the last treatment of chemo, and a few followers asked me to jump in the ocean for a second time, so that’s what the second leap was for,” he explained.

Above all else he wanted to acknowledge his aunt Sharon Ancelet, his cousin Lyle Ancelet, his grandfather Victor Carpenado, “and anybody else out there who’s dealing with cancer or suffering from it, this was all in support of them as well.”

After 82 days on the road, he added he’s feeling sore, and that it will take “about a month to get my feet adjusted and my bones back to normal.”

With only a few rest days in Port Hardy, he will heal up and then head back to Red Deer.

“I’ve got a lot of people asking, ‘oh are you hiking it’ and I’m like ‘no no, I’m busing it this time,’” he laughed.

Buckle’s fundraising goal is $2,500, which he estimates he will definitely be hitting before he leaves Port Hardy to go back home.


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Cancerfundraiser

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

After jumping in the ocean, Dwayne Buckle was given donations from various people, including Weston Ireton (right) and his brother Beckett. Weston is now cancer free after a two-year battle with leukemia. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

After jumping in the ocean, Dwayne Buckle was given donations from various people, including Weston Ireton (right) and his brother Beckett. Weston is now cancer free after a two-year battle with leukemia. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

Just Posted

Fentanyl was among the drugs seized by New Hazelton RCMP in a big bust in early January. (File photo)
New Hazelton RCMP arrest five, seize drugs and large amount of cash

Police find suspected heroin, fentanyl and crystal meth during early January drug bust

Smithers Local Health area reported 32 new cases of COVID-19 for the second week of January. (BC CDC graphic)
Weekly new cases of COVID-19 rise to 32 in Smithers LHA Jan. 10 – 16

Northern Health reports 35 new cases for 501 active, 44 hospitalized, 17 in critical care Wednesday

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. Jan. 21, 2021. Kitimat RCMP photo
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Smithers Secondary School students participate in a high performance workout in advance of the school becoming a campus of the Canadian Sport School. (Thom Barker photo)
Smithers Secondary chosen for campus of elite sport school

The Canadian Sport School provides supports and resources for high performance athletes

Robin Price in action with Thompson Rivers University women’s soccer team. (TRU photo)
Former Smithers athlete helps Kamloops homeless people

Robin Price, now a fourth year nursing student and soccer player at TRU, spearheads fundraiser

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

Most Read