By Ken Hirter

On Saturday September 14th 2019.  l laced up my runners and took to the paths for “THE GENERAL HOSPITAL FOUNDATION STRIDES FOR THE GENERAL” now going into their 10th year. It is the largest fundraising event of the calendar year for the General.

It was a wonderful day as more than 700+ participated in this worthwhile and vital cause to raise money and awareness for the necessary and much needed Imaging equipment for the General Hospital including the REGIONAL REHABILITATION CENRE. Recovery for those patients dealing with spinal cord injuries/head trauma & strokes…..

THE 5K WALK & RUN took place in Beautiful Bayfront Park and the Rail trail. The walkers, runners and the former patients and their teams of supporters, along with their friends & family was awash of a sea of green, blue & white in love & support for strides.

Remembering and Memorian:

~Jeffory James Wolfenden ~

I ran this 5K run with the “WOLF’S DEN” a team comprised of Jeff’s family, extended family, friends and 2 furry friends too. I profiled both Jeff & Jennifer Wolfenden for the April edition of the North End Breezes of those who make difference within our Community going above and beyond.

I was saddened as were many when Jeff passed away on July 06th 2019. He was a guiding force and a pillar of light of hope for the many, many patients and former patients of both the Hospital and especially the Rehabilitation Center.

At the time of Jeff’s passing Jeff continued to visit the patients and was a cheerleader for those struggling to get up, get dress and to get outside and enjoy life. That was Jeff.

On Sunday July 13th 2019 over 400+ family & friends gathered to celebrate his remarkable life & times.

Jeff & Jennifer were Strides ambassadors here in Hamilton last year. Jeff along with his wonderful wife & light both shared their own story of their experience, strength & hope  to cope to live, manage and rebuild a better life and foundation to survive after stroke survival tales: the faces and advcotes for Stroke Survivors everywhere past and present.

Jennifer continues her walk in Spain for the “Wolf’s Den” it was to have been a pilgrimage and a adventure that both Jeff & Jennifer were to walk together. With Jeff’s passing Jennifer went on this trek with the memory, spirit & heart of her beloved, her light walking along her side leading to their final destination Santiago Spain.

We thought of both Jeff & Jennifer as we walked & ran all together for “Strides for the GENERAL a cause that both Jeff & Jennifer hold dearest in their hearts.

Everyone gathered together and many ran for others and to lend support for STRIDES. The mood of all in attendance was exhilarating and that was shown as the sun shone down on everyone on a beautiful Saturday morning & afternoon. Jeff was there in spirit, but his spirit and his heart was in Spain with Jennifer on her Journey.

From the food, entertainment the speeches and the money raised for such a much worthy cause to our Hospital in our neighborhood… was such a wonderful day and an experience.

Thanks to all who donated & pledged myself on my run. Thanks for helping the GENERAL HOSPITAL to make a difference in rehabilitation care provided to Jeff, Jennifer and the many faces of the survivors. We remember those who never made it and ….we remember Jeff and those gone before us and after us.

It was a touching event that I will cherish for a lifetime. Take care of you and those around you