In The Spirit Of Giving

In The Spirit Of Giving

 In the spirit of giving, a group from the Comox and Victoria region is looking to raise as much as $15,000 in support of BC & Alberta Guide Dogs.


Team Woofathon Warriors have set out to virtually row, bike, run, or walk, from CFB Naden in Victoria to CFB Edmonton. The team has set the ambitious goal as part of BC & Alberta Guide Dogs’ third annual Woof-A-Thon Virtual Challenge. The team is hoping to cover 1,263 kilometres on June 26 virtually.


For Yance Sheehan, the idea to help support BC & Alberta Guide Dogs and IRP Health made perfect sense.Yance Sheehan and  Ryder, pictured shortly after the two were paired together and then recently after an outing exercising.


While dealing with his Operational Stress Injury (OSI) as a military veteran, Yance’s mental and physical health declined since he left active service. After two intense stops at treatment centers for his OSI, Yance gained weight and was finding it increasingly difficult to get out and enjoy the things he once took for granted due to his medications.


His life began to spiral due to his OSI. Yance increasingly spent most of his inside, which was becoming untenable. But a tiny flicker of hope remained. Yance reached out for help and connected with BC & Alberta Guide Dogs’ VICD program. After 14 months of training, he was given Ryder, a Service Dog who helped him deal with his OSI.


“Ryder has been a life saver for me,” he says. “He’s given me my life back.”


With a renewed purpose and Ryder at his side, Yance set his sights on dealing with his weight gain. Through IRP Health, he worked with their team to continue his health journey. IRP Health focuses on working with Military Veterans, RCMP, and First Responders rehabilitation services to reclaim their health and help clients build a strong community of support.


“I was at a point where I couldn’t get on the ground and play with Ryder and get back up. That’s where I was, physically. But I owed it to him and myself to lose weight and get back on track.”


With the help of trained professionals at IRP Health guiding his physical health program, along with his Service Dog Ryder at his side, Yance has seen steady improvements. He’s dropped 170 pounds and says he’s feeling great. Now he wants to be able to help give back to the organizations that have lifted him out of despair.


“I want to give back and share so others can benefit. I can’t tell you how much this has meant to me.”


Yance said he is encouraging anyone who wants to join them on June 26 to meet between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at IRP Heath in Comox, located at 101-1797 Comox Avenue. Participants can also meet at IRP Health at 107-2787 Jacklin Road, Langford, B.C.


Anyone interested in contributing to Team Woofathon Warriors can donate CLICK HERE.