By Denissa Palmer 
BELLEVILLE – Nick Foley didn’t even own a bike when he decided he would pedal across Canada this summer.
“I’ll be outside of my comfort zone cycling,” he said.
Foley will be pedalling across Canada to spread awareness about Celebrate the Hero . The ride is expected to start on April 22 in Victoria, B.C, and will run for 96 days ending in St.John’s, NFLD. The goal is to fundraise $100,000 for their charitable partners.
According to its website, Celebrate the Hero is an initiative that motivates and empowers people to make a difference through their good actions.
For Foley, the motivation is his two-year-old daughter Bryn.
35-year-old Foley says he was blessed with a beautiful baby girl being born into the world with Down’s Syndrome in September 2012.
“She’s honestly a blessing. I’ve probably learned more in the last two years than I have in my first 33 years of life.”
Shortly after Bryn was born, Foley says he took a business trip that changed his life.
He says he encountered first-hand discrimination towards people with disabilities. As a result, he says he was driven to spread more awareness about Down’s Syndrome.
“I heard people using unbelievably horrible language, describing kids with disabilities. And I didn’t want my daughter to grow up in a world like that, and so, as I was waiting for my plane to take my back to Canada, one of the things I concluded was that I could make a difference…”
Through his movement ‘Celebrate the Hero’, Foley has been able to raise awareness and funds for those living with a disability.
Foley has visited several high-schools and colleges throughout the GTA to share his story. Celebrate The Hero also offers weekly missions and workshops that motivate you to live positively. Part of weekly missions consist of giving out small messages or poems to strangers.
As for his cycle this summer, Foley’s thought a lot about comfort zones.
“Kids with disabilities live outside their comfort zone to fit in the mainstream society, and I’ll be outside of my comfort zone cycling since I’ve never done it before,” he answered when asked where the idea arose for the cross-Canada bike ride.
Foley describes the wonderful and humbling feeling of what he’s done so far, and how much he thinks he’s inspired people to live more positively through their actions.
“Theres no feeling like it, when people tell you they want to make a difference in their lives because of you.”