Wendi Paterson Inspiration Award – May

For the month of May we are so pleased to be honouring Owen.  This blog is written through the voice of Gabriella De Nino, Registered Kinesiologist and Health Promotion Manager at Urban Poling Inc.  While at a Stroke Symposium hosted by the March of Dimes Canada, I had the opportunity to meet a wonderful woman named Rebecca, who was there on behalf of her son Owen, a paediatric stroke survivor.  Rebecca told me about all Owen’s inspirational story and I was so moved by it that I had to share it in this blog. Owen’s full story and progress updates can be found on the Facebook page #91isafighter. Here is a brief excerpt:

Owen is a 14-year-old who is an athlete and an excellent student. While at his first high school track meet, Owen suffered a massive stroke after crossing the finish line of the 1500m race. Owen’s coach was quick thinking and sought medical attention immediately. Owen was taken by Orange to Sick Kids, underwent emergency surgery to remove the right side of his skull and was put in a coma for 8 days. Since waking up, he has made incredible progress daily. Please follow his story as it’s unfolding daily! #91isafighter #paediatricstrokeawareness

Rebecca was enthusiastic in sharing that Owen had been using the ACTIVATOR® poles during his rehabilitation. Here is what she had to say:

“The Activator pole was a pinnacle piece of equipment that Owen used while he was an in-patient at Holland Bloorview Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital.  The pole allowed Owen to stand as straight as possible while he was regaining his strength on his affected left side.  Owen was a part of a research study while at the rehab hospital, it involved the Lokomat, and the Activator Pole was also used while he was on this piece of equipment.I’ve attached some pictures of Owen using the Activator Pole, we’re very thankful that it was used during his rehab, I’m not sure he’d be standing as tall if he had used a cane.”

We at Urban Poling are so thankful that our ACTIVATOR® poles were able to make even the smallest difference in Owen’s rehab and recovery. It is his story, and many others like it, that make us proud to donate 1% of ACTIVATOR® pole sales in Canada to the March of Dimes Canada. We will always strive to continue to be leaders in education so that more and more health care professionals become aware of the benefits of the ACTIVATOR® poles and promote their use in the rehab and recovery of their patients so that Owen’s story can be that of so many other stroke recovery patients.


This month we are also so pleased to be honouring Lynn Kanuka, whose long list of achievements include being an Olympian medalist, a renowned motivational speaker, and a passionate Urban Poling Instructor.  Lynn is a staunch believer in the health and social benefits of Nordic walking and is not shy about promoting her favourite form of fitness to any and all who will listen. It comes as no surprise then that she is also the coach for the Sun Run: the second largest 10K event in the world which takes place in the streets of downtown Vancouver every year.  Lynn is actively involved in the running/walking Intraining Sun Run Clinics which includes Nordic walking to help participants train for the highly anticipated and popular event.  

According to Lynn, Nordic walking

It’s a fantastic way to enhance your walking experience, engaging the upper body and core, burning more calories, improving posture, and upping the “fun” meter — I love it!  She is also a huge proponent of encouraging people to get off the couch.  Check out this blog for learning about Lynn’s journey to becoming an Olympic medallist and her philosophy on being active. 

Lynn’s Amazing Achievements:

World Championships Bronze Norway ’89
Commonwealth Gold Scotland ’86
Canadian Recordholder 1500m
Former Canadian Recordholder 3000m, 5000m, 10K on the roads
Olympic, BC and Saskatchewan Halls of Fame
YWCA Woman of Distinction Award

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