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A 79-Year-Old BC Man Walked From Calgary To Vancouver & He Raised Over $500K

It took him 45 days!

Associate Editor, Vancouver
Gary Averbach finishing his walk in Vancouver. Right: Gary Averbach at Banff National.

Gary Averbach finishing his walk in Vancouver. Right: Gary Averbach at Banff National.

Gary Averbach has been getting his steps in this summer. He completed a nearly 1,100-kilometre walkover the course of 45 days, from Calgary to Vancouver, with the goal of raising $500,000 for cancer awareness and research.

Averbach's trek finished on Thursday when he arrived at Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver where he was accompanied by a bunch of supporters. And when it was done, the 79-year-old received over $540,000 worth of donations, according to the BC Cancer Foundation's website.

Gary Averbach along the Trans Canada Highway.Gary Averbach along the Trans Canada Highway.Gary Averbach | Polarsteps

Averbach was inspired to take on this journey after losing three close friends and family members to the disease in a seven-week span, from April to May of this year, the website said.

That's in addition to the loss of his cousin and best friend, named Bob Golden for whom the "Bob's Walk for Cancer" is named after.

Since Averbach's first steps were taken on June 25 from Calgary, he's walked 25 to 30 kilometres every day. And every day, he wrote a blog post where he described his adventures and posted pictures taken along the way.

Whether it was rain, sun, cold or warm, Averbach walked through it all, eventually crossing into B.C. one week into his journey.

However, he said there were some challenges. On Day 8, Averbach wrote there was an incident holding up traffic on the highway he was walking, which forced him to walk ahead without his escort, Bart, who followed him in a van.

"About an hour and a couple of k’s past the accident Bart found me, literally on my last legs, out of water and energy," he wrote in the blog post.

But Averbach remained positive and kept walking. Everywhere he went, he had photos taken of him in his bright orange shirt and walking sticks, in addition to some beautiful scenery along the way.

His journey ended in Vancouver where he met up with his daughter and supporters.

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