Toys & Training

Prairie Thousand hitting street for PTSD assist canines – Brandon Solar


Biking comes naturally for Rob Nederlof, so he’s more than pleased to hit the street to assist fellow troopers with their psychological well being.

He and his spouse, Marina, are taking one other street journey for his or her second annual Prairie Thousand, a fundraiser and consciousness marketing campaign for Wounded Warriors Canada. The couple are already en path to Edmonton, the place Rob will cycle from the CANEX retailer simply outdoors CFB Edmonton to Minnedosa, beginning Aug. 11.

Presently serving the Canadian Armed Forces with the rank of sergeant, Nederlof mentioned that is the second fundraising marketing campaign for the veteran advocacy group’s assist canine program.

Rob Nederlof. (Submitted)

With three excursions of obligation beneath his belt and his personal post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD) expertise, Nederlof at the moment works at CFB Shilo in base upkeep. Nederlof has witnessed individuals who undergo from PTSD by way of their very own service.

“It isn’t fairly,” Nederlof mentioned. “It’s a trigger that’s close to and pricey to our hearts. We’ve got locations in thoughts, however we don’t have arduous dates for the place we’ll find yourself. This biking marketing campaign is working till Aug. 20.”

The thought of biking as a fundraiser got here to him after he was approached by a person who noticed him biking. Occurring lengthy rides is pure for Nederlof, however when the person mentioned he thought he was doing a charity trip, Nederlof began to consider if he ought to, and which charity he wish to fundraise for.

The Wounded Warriors assist canine program instantly got here to thoughts, he mentioned. He defined this system trains canines to accompany troopers as a kind of remedy canine and early warning system for once they’re about to have an episode. The canines are skilled to detect when an individual’s stress ranges are growing and are skilled to intervene to calm them.

“These canines are important for a soldier’s psychological well being, in addition to supply assist for the spouses and kids of those troopers. They assist entire households and communities,” he mentioned. “It takes a very long time to coach them, although, and that’s costly.”

The Wounded Warriors PTSD service canines program has existed since 2012. It has given greater than $3 million to coaching and pairing of PTSD service canines, in accordance with its web site. The value tag to coach a assist canine is $15,000.

“We’re actually within the midst of a psychological well being epidemic within the nation,” mentioned Wounded Warriors Canada nationwide partnership director Steven Topham in a information launch.

“Our supporters have allowed us to fulfill the rising wants of these we’re servicing. Rob and Marina have performed an instrumental position on this. And the impression a service canine can have on a person.”

Final 12 months, the couple’s objective was $5,000 and raised simply over $19,000. Rob left Wawanesa and coated 1,000 kilometres to Lethbridge in roughly two weeks.

This 12 months’s objective is $7,000.

“We need to preserve our objective conservative,” Nederlof mentioned. “We’ve already raised $5,000, so this has been a terrific marketing campaign this 12 months. Something after that’s bonus.”

This 12 months, Nederlof hopes to have the wind on his again as he covers simply over 1,000 kilomeres throughout his two weeks of depart from CFB Shilo.

Funds raised for the Wounded Warriors Canada PTSD service canine program will go on to the group to coach canines.

However, the price of the journey to Edmonton and again is popping out of the Nederlofs’ personal pockets.

Final 12 months’s assist of the Prairie Thousand bike trip was overwhelming, the couple mentioned, including they’re hopeful the upcoming journey will garner as a lot assist from native organizations and media alongside the way in which.

Similar to final time, Marina mentioned she is going to drive the assist automobile for her husband and handle social media posts from the aspect of the street and their campsites.

“It’s simpler for me to do this from my telephone as a result of I can entry Fb from there, and we can be on the transfer by way of areas that will have spotty reception,” she mentioned.

To assist Prairie Thousand, observe their progress or, to attach with the Prairie Thousand crew, take a look at their Fb web page: https://www.fb.com/PrairieThousand. A QR code on the web page immediately hyperlinks you to the webpage, www.prairiethousand.weebly.com.

They can be reached by e-mail at prairiethousand@gmail.com.

For extra details about Wounded Warriors Canada, see www.woundedwarriors.ca

»kmckinley@brandonsun.com

»Twitter: @karenleighmcki1



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