On June 3rd, Andrew Metcalfe, 21, and his pink canoe left Kingston, Ontario, and headed out on a 1,200-km, 40-day trip, all in the name of breast-cancer awareness and research. His "Pink Portage" will conclude in Windsor, Ontario.
"Every day I walk until I reach my goal — 20 or 30 kilometres — and then I set up camp in an area where I won't get kicked off of or that I have permission to stay on due to some very generous people who have offered to let me stay," Metcalfe tells Metro.
Why is Metcalfe motivated to portage for cancer?
Metcalfe's mother, grandmother and aunt all suffered from breast cancer. His mother and grandmother are now in remission. His aunt lost her battle with cancer in 2005.
"I really appreciate what the Canadian Cancer Society did for my family, providing rides, a support group my mom could talk to," he tells CottageCountryNow. "It's stressful for her and the entire family going through a cancer diagnosis."
All proceeds generated by his Pink Portage will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. Thanks to Metcalfe's inspiring appearance on Breakfast Television, he has already surpassed his goal of $5,000.
"And a huge thank you to everyone who is helping me out this morning. With online support, your enthusiasm, we'll do this and beat the heat," the former Ryerson student tweeted Thursday morning before his on-air appearance.
"I'm 21, I don't have much to my name. I work part-time in Toronto but you can still do stuff like this," he tells CottageCountryNow.
"I'm at the age that I kinda want to give back now," Metcalfe tells The Valley Gazette. "Looking back on it now I appreciate what they did because a cancer diagnosis doesn't just affect the person that gets it. It affects an entire family."
"You're probably asking yourself why a pink canoe? And really it is just because breast cancer is the type of cancer that has affected me and my family the most. It has been a presence in my life from when I was a little kid, until as recently as a few years ago. And, plus, real men portage pink right? In all seriousness though, the purpose of this journey is to not only raise funds for all types of cancer research and care but also to raise overall cancer awareness," Metcalfe writes on his site, The Pink Portage.
A flash mob is being planned for Friday, July 6th, in Dundas Square in Toronto to support Metcalfe's efforts.
Watch the video below about a man running across Canada to raise money for a children's hospital.