On day 74 of his cross-Canada trek to raise money for cancer research, Jackson Charron-Okerlund passed through Sturgeon Falls, May 18. As he walked over the Champlain bridge, the Winnipegger had already raised over $40,000 in donations for his campaign, Coast to Coast for Cancer, from Canadians who are avidly following his cheerful daily TikTok posts. He didn’t have time to stop in Sturgeon Falls, having a goal of 50km a day, but later that day he posted a resounding thank you to the people at Kate’s Kitchen in Warren for providing him some much needed respite, a meal and a hot shower.
The 25-year-old started his walking journey on March 6 in Newfoundland, from the Terry Fox Memorial, his inspiration. A month later his best friend from elementary school, Rob Ingram, joined him in New Brunswick in a 1985 Volkswagon van, to provide a place to sleep at night. But Canadians across the board have helped, with meals and motel rooms, as they respond to his mission, sharing their personal stories of cancer losses, giving him tokens of good luck, cheering him on. He’s walking for them, for Canadians everywhere. “We’re such an awesome country,” he beams. He’s dealt with all kinds of weather and carries on.
His daily posts reach over 40,000 followers, who love his positive nature. He can be followed on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. You can donate to his GoFundMe.com page “Cross Canada Marathon for Cancer Research”. Jackson was in Blind River on May 23, Day 79, where he was met by the mayor and a substantial crowd. “I can’t believe how amazing and generous Canadians are. I am so happy to be in this country!”