“Grandpa Bob’s Walk for Louie” comes through Amherstburg

 

"Grandpa Bob's 4,000 km Walk for Louie" came through Amherstburg last Thursday morning. The walk is part of fundraising efforts through "Jesse's Journey" to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. From left: Sgt. Matt Capel-Cure, Bob Facca, Chief Tim Berthiaume, Bob Pillon.

“Grandpa Bob’s 4,000 km Walk for Louie” came through Amherstburg last Thursday morning. The walk is part of fundraising efforts through “Jesse’s Journey” to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. From left: Sgt. Matt Capel-Cure, Bob Facca, Chief Tim Berthiaume, Bob Pillon.

Bob Facca, aka “Grandpa Bob,” flashes a thumbs-up as he walks down Sandwich St. last Thursday.

Bob Facca, aka “Grandpa Bob,” flashes a thumbs-up as he walks down Sandwich St. last Thursday.

By Ron Giofu

 

Bob Facca continued his “Grandpa Bob’s 4,000km Walk for Louie” throughout southwestern Ontario last week including a walk through Amherstburg.

The walk, raising money for “Jesse’s Journey” and that organization’s efforts to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, went along Sandwich St. and Front Road North last Thursday morning and extended into LaSalle. The walk had been in Kingsville and Leamington the day before and continued Friday in Windsor and Tecumseh. A fundraiser was scheduled for Lakeshore Cinemas Saturday.

“The response has been very good,” Facca said last Thursday morning, just prior to leaving the parking lot beside the Amherstburg police station. “We’ve had a great response from the people. They are supporting us very well.”

Since Facca and his small group left Quebec City May 12, he said his walk has raised over $550,000.

“That money is earmarked for research,” said Facca. “The researchers need more money all the time. They are getting close (to a cure) but they are not there yet.”

Facca’s six-year-old grandson Louie was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy over three years ago.

“As soon as he was diagnosed, we did some smaller fundraisers,” he said.

Facca, who grew up in Windsor but now is a London resident, pointed out this wasn’t his first long-distance walk. Shortly after Louie was diagnosed, he went on a walk from Owen Sound to London and raised $250,000. Once he was done that, he decided “we had to do more” so the plans for the 4,000-kilometre walk from Quebec City to Winnipeg was planned.

Children like Louie are often in wheelchairs by the time they are in their early teens, he said, and often have a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years of age.

In addition to raising money, people have been very supportive of Facca and his team in other ways. He said farmers have given them fresh milk and eggs while going through Quebec while another lady in eastern Ontario donated a container of sandwiches that lasted three days as well as a tray of Rice Krispie treats.

“People have been so generous to us,” said Facca. “You can’t say enough. It’s unbelievable what people do.”

The bus and vans that accompany Facca and his team on “Grandpa Bob’s 4,000km Walk for Louie” head back to Chatham Sunday and the walk will resume from there. It will eventually hit communities such as Wallaceburg, Sarnia, Owen Sound, Parry Sound, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, and Thunder Bay before arriving in Winnipeg in early December.

“I’d like to thank the people of Quebec and Ontario for their tremendous support that they’ve given us to fight this disease,” said Facca. “It’s all about the people. I have a great crew that helps me. It’s a people’s journey.”
Anyone who wishes to donate can do so through www.jessesjourney.com or by texting “Bob” to 45678.

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