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DAY 7 - Journal Entry #1: Friday, August 13, 2004

by Monica McGahey, K4C Kayaker

Seven days ago I started this adventure with 19 other paddlers and 10 plus ground support members. I was one of the new members and was meeting many of the group for the first time. Now on our last day I have many new friends and I marvel at the planning and organization that goes into this great fundraiser. Everyone helped each other in and out of their kayaks & Liam was there to get the weeds off my rudder. The ground crew always had a great lunch waiting around the bend and was there to cheer you on for those last few meters at the end of the day.

Today started out with lots of laughter at our leader Kevin’s expense as he tried to get out of his tent which somehow during the night the zippers had been tied closed. While there is some horseplay and lots of fun everyone has their own personal reasons for doing the trip. The handwritten names on the t-shirts are a very telling message; a brother, a father, an aunt, a grandparent, etc.

For myself it has been the challenge of doing the trip after 30 years in nursing the memory of so many patients; the young single mother, the retired major, but not only for those who has lost their fight but also for those who come back to the ward to say 'hi' a year or two after their treatment. Research and new discoveries are helping to increase the number of survivors.

DAY 7 - Journal Entry #2

by George Tsarouhas, K4C Kayaker

In the early hours of the morning our leader Kevin had tremendous difficulty getting out of his tent when nature called. It seemed that there was a zipper “malfunction” and almost had to use Johnny and Papa Ron’s method of night time bathroom facilities. Finally after an hour he managed to escape with his dignity in tact.

As the sun rose and the crew was enjoying sleeping in (as pre-negotiated with the Tilley Farts), two kayakers (one who was completely innocent) also had to deal with tent malfunctions and a trailer that somehow moved to the front of their tent. What a way to wake up!

From a first time kayaker, the day started off on a lower than usual note when we realized that Parks Canada was unable to reach a settlement with the Rideau Canal officials and we decided as a group that the best solution was to pull out at our lunch destination, Hurst Marina.

The mood was quiet as we pulled out of our campsite, as people were somber thinking of loved ones who have been touched by cancer and the realization that our adventure was at the end.

Pulling into Hurst Marina and knowing we’ve gone as far as we were able to go, was an incredible feeling. For me as a first-time kayaker, it was wonderful being a part of a group that was filled with the most loving and caring people that I had ever met. The last 100 meters was the best feeling that I’ve ever felt.

Thanks to “Skirt” for being a tremendous leader. I can’t wait till next year. Yee Haw!

DAY 7 - Journal Entry #3

by Kevin Dionne, K4C Team Leader

People truly amaze me! I began this adventure not knowing where it would go or end up. We as a group, have made a difference. It is not easy from February to that last day in August. Each person digs deep, to help raise money, get supplies or lend their support. I sit here in my e-z chair the evening we have just finished. I’ve had the pleasure of reading each person’s reflection. I’ve cried, I’ve smiled, I’ve thought of you all. We are doing a great job for our own reasons. I am saddened that K4C 2004 could not meet their final destination but our sponsors including Parks Canada and the Locks officials have been so generous to us. My highlight, at the end of every trip is to witness the first time kayakers hitting downtown Ottawa. You all have so much too be proud of. So many people sit on the sidelines and say What if! Not you! We have done our best and as a combined K4C group have raised well over $100,000 dollars.

I cannot tell the difference from year to year except for the different colour of t-shirt, people come, people go but K4C is going to be around for a long time. Papa Ron you really do ‘ROCK’, your personality is a gift, Mom or ‘Nana’ your quiet strength is a gift from God. Travy, as you have been referred too! As you stated on the water, “Life throws you some obstacles”. You along with your incredible mother and sister are forever entrenched in my heart. A special thank you goes to Donna Barnes (our little socialite) for her endless effort to make this trip more comfortable. You really are an incredible organizer. Lots of love to you and family. To Micheline, I’ve taken you down many roads, not really knowing where they lead. My intentions are always to make this a better place. Thanks for being patient! To all the participants over four years both ground and kayakers I’m not sure I could take direction from me but you find a way. Thank You! Georgie your story is one from a movie. I admire your strength, even though Erin holds you up!!! You certainly had the most highs and lows. Look forward to your revenge. I pledge this to all of you “we are not done”! Stay tuned for K4C 2005, you guys are the best!

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