October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Travel Professionals International (TPI) is raising much-needed funds and awareness.
All month long, the TPI family has been participating in the TPI Walktober Challenge, a new fundraising campaign whereby participants walk virtually along Canada’s Trans Canada Trail to raise money for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada.
Each day, participants complete a set number of steps, which moves them along a pre-set map that starts in Victoria, BC, and ends in St. John’s, NL.
The group takes on fun challenges along the way, which you can see first-hand on social media by clicking the hashtag #TPIWalktoberChallenge.
Here, PAX checks in with Moose Jaw, SK-based TPI advisor Charlotte Field to learn more about her participation, and progress, in the challenge!
PAX: Why was it important for you to get involved in TPI’s Walktober Challenge in support of the Breast Cancer Society of Canada?
Charlotte Field (CF): The reason I chose to do this walk is because breast cancer can impact everyone, including men. I had a friend whose mother passed away from breast cancer years ago so I walk for her and all people who suffer with this affliction. I have another friend who also suffers from a rare form of melanoma and has quarterly checkups. So with her in mind, I decided that I would do this challenge.
PAX: Where are you getting your steps in?
CF: I mostly am walking in the park across the street from my home. To break up the monotony, I walk through the crescents and streets around where I live. For the most part I walk alone but I have had my sister join a couple of times and my husband and dog Sadie. Having someone to walk with seems to make the time go by faster. My husband and dog walk with me in the evening when I only have 2,000 steps or less to get in. I try to walk right after lunch to get the vast majority of my steps in and also when the weather is a little warmer.
PAX: What are some goals you hope to achieve throughout this campaign?
CF: The goal is always to raise as much money as you can for cancer but I didn't have a dollar value in mind. I have been doing daily videos of my journey and I did challenge my school mates to walk virtually with me. My clients, friends, and family are following on my Facebook page. The feedback from them has been amazing and inspiring.
PAX: Travel and fundraising are two things that go really well together. Why do you think this is?
CF: I'm not sure why travel and fundraising go hand in hand but I know that most tour operators and airlines have charities they raise money for. I think fundraising brings out the best in people and if you have travelled and have seen how others live, you know what a great life we have here in this country.
PAX: What have you learned about yourself, and the travel industry, during this campaign?
CF: I've learned that we both are resilient and will get through the COVID-19 pandemic. This journey hasn't been easy as I have had two knee replacements and probably will need a hip replaced. Some days I don't want to walk if it's windy, but I know there are people worse off than myself. So I get my runners and jacket on and off I go. It is the least I can do for a few aches and pains.
Stay tuned as PAX brings you more from the #TPIWalktoberChallenge! Industry colleagues can access the official step tracking form for the challenge here and the campaign's official guidebook can be found here.
To make a donation to the #TPIWalktoberChallenge, click here.
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