Zack Downey cuts a dashing figure in his Victoria Mariners jersey in this 2013 photo. The young Langford resident died of cancer in 2014 and will be remembered during the fifth and final Moving Mountains fundraiser on Nov. 18. (Colette Hopkins Photography)

Hike raises funds for families battling lymphoma

Moving Mountains also a tribute to Langford teen Zack Downey

Every year around mid-November, Shane Flamand is hit with a wave of emotion.

Traversing the steep slopes and rocky terrain of the three largest peaks in Greater Victoria as part of the Moving Mountains fundraiser brings back memories of Flamand’s nephew, Zack Downey, who lost his 18-month battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2014.

Flamand remembers coaching Zack’s baseball team and that he was a courageous, talented teenager with a passion for sport. Above all, he remembers Zack’s unfaltering spirit in his final months.

“He was like a son to me,” Flamand said. “He took it like a champ the whole way through. Whenever he was going through treatments, you’d never know it because he always had a smile on his face. He always had hope.”

Now, Flamand is getting set to remember Zack again and participate in the fifth and final Moving Mountains fundraiser this month. As part of the event, Flamand along with roughly 20 other hikers, will cover 27 kilometres through Mount Finlayson, Jocelyn Hill and Mount Work over a 10 to 12 hour period.

RELATED: A courageous young man is remembered

It’s a fundraiser the Langford resident and avid hiker originally started in 2013 to raise funds to help Zack and his family, but since his passing, has turned into a tribute for Zack and fundraiser for families with children battling lymphoma.

The Shared Hope Society, which Flamand is the vice president of, chooses the recipients. In addition to the annual hike, Flamand also organizes weekly hikes through East Sooke Park, Mount Wells and around Thetis Lake to raise funds for various families. In recent years, they’ve raised thousands of dollars for about 20 families in Greater Victoria.

Over the last three years since Zack’s passing, the hike has helped Flamand heal, but now, he’s ready to let go and move on.

“There’s that great feeling knowing that you’re able to help some of these families, but it’s also very difficult because it brings up a world of emotions every time you hike,” Flamand said. “For me, a part of the healing is to move forward. It brings up a world of emotions that I’m ready to put behind me. Just a heartfelt thank you to all that have helped out along this journey.”

Funds raised this year will go towards providing financial support to a self-employed single mother raising two boys, including a 13-year-old who is battling lymphoma.

Moving Mountains takes place on Saturday, Nov. 18. For more information, visit Shared Hope Society on Facebook.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Launch party for Vancouver Island’s new soccer team a success

Over 3,000 seats will be added to Westhills Stadium in the next 6 months

View Royal Park sign taken down after glitch redirects to pornographic website

Resident looking to learn more about workout equipment discovered the problem code

Saanich pedestrian incidents reflect recent trends

76% of crashes involving pedestrians happen at intersections

Two people rescued after falling from lifeboat at Ogden Point

Crew members of the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship fell into the water Thursday night

Online blasting video helps ease Sooke residents concerns

Complaints of dust ongoing since 2017

BC Games: Day 1 comes to an end

Medals have already been handed out following one day of competition in the 2018 BC Summer Games

Big-time racing on tap in Langford this month

Western Speedway the place to be for a roaring good time in summer

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

ZONE 6: Rugby star Maggie Banks carries family legacy to BC Games

Shawnigan Lake student and Coquitlam native following her parents to the national program

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Most Read