When Jeff Laybolt set out from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in March 2019 to walk across Canada, he was standing at the edge of our country, with nothing but ocean between him and Europe.
Now, 11 months and over 9,000 kilometres later, he’ll stand on the other side of the country feeling proud — if not a little tired.
Having started last March, Laybolt has trekked his way from Nova Scotia to Victoria to raise money for Diabetes research.
On Saturday January 4th, around 9:30 a.m.,Laybolt will walk to the end of Clover Point Park on Dallas Road and complete his incredible feat.
Laybolt’s efforts have resulted in over $10,000 raised, thousands of kilometres walked, and a million different memories of his journey.
“The meeting the people, the kids with type-one Diabetes, and all the other people along the way, that’s really been the most amazing part,” Laybolt said in a phone call with Victoria Buzz, while walking just outside of Langford.
Trials and Tribulations
It was a difficult journey for Laybolt, with several life-threatening moments, but he said the people he met kept him motivated.
“Every time I feel pretty low and think ‘Do I want to do this or not?’, I meet people who can’t go home and hang up diabetes, so why do I get to stop?” Laybolt said. “So I keep on going.”
“I chose Diabetes for my “cause” because it has affected more than 3 generations of my family,” he explained in a Facebook post detailing the reason for his walk.
He has been tracking his hike online, posting updates on YouTube, and keeping an active Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter presence. Laybolt is looking forward to heading and home and taking a break (he plans to take a full week off, which surely nobody can begrudge him), but says he’ll miss no longer being on the journey.
“As much as I can’t wait to go home, it’s hard to give it up. It’s been so much of my life while it has been my life for 11 months,” Laybolt explained. “The freedom and being able to be out here and help out a good cause is something I enjoyed.”
End of the Journey
After finishing his walk, Laybolt will head to the James Bay Room at the Parkside Hotel for a meet and greet, where he’ll discuss his walk to anyone interested in hearing about it.
People are encouraged to support Laybolt and meet him at Clover Point Park, close to the Terry Fox Monument. It will be a fitting place to end this incredible and life-changing experience.
“The island here is a beautiful place [to end my journey]. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been,” Laybolt said
“Wet, a lot, but beautiful.”
To donate to Jeff Laybolt and his cause, visit his GoFundMe page here. For more information on the finish line party, you can visit the Facebook event page here. For more information on the Meet and Greet, you can visit the Facebook event page here.