Brandon Harrison and his father

Long for Life goes out of the way

Some adults will go further out of their way than others to visit their parents.

Some adults will go further out of their way than others to visit their parents.

For Michael Floyd of Calgary and his son, Brandon Harrison, visiting mom in Red Deer was a matter of taking a break from longboarding across Canada and driving up from Lake Louise to host an afternoon barbecue.

Floyd’s mother, Roxann Traubert, helped flip a few burgers and entertain guests at Great Chief Park on Saturday while her son and grandson recounted the adventures of a journey that got underway in St. John’s, Nfld. on May 14 and is due to wrap up in Vancouver later this month.

Early stages of the Long For Life tour started years earlier, when Brandon was two and doctors found a cancerous tumour growing in his chest. Brandon, 19, doesn’t remember much about the cancer or the surgery.

For his father, however, the memories are vivid.

This year, 15 years since Brandon was declared cancer free, son and father are nearing the finish of an odyssey to raise money and awareness for Coast to Coast Cancer Foundation, an organization that supports cancer patients and their families.

Floyd, 43, said he has been inviting people to donate money to the charity, but he and Brandon haven’t accepted any donations in person, asking instead that they donate directly to Coast to Coast.

For that reason, he said he doesn’t know who much money their cross-country tour has actually raised.

For Floyd, it’s more about showing people that they can reach their goals if they believe in themselves.

“It’s more about the mindset and support,” said Floyd.

“If we have the belief and the faith that we’re going to beat it before going in, we have a better chance of winning.

‘We’re applying a lot of those disciplines to what Brandon did, how he had to beat it. All he knew was one way, and that was ‘go for it.’”

Brandon says his father, who has been riding longboards for less than two years, is getting pretty good at it.

Averaging 60 kilometres per day, depending on road and weather conditions, they’ve both lost a little weight and the boards they started out on were worn out by the time they got to Winnipeg.

There have been no serious mishaps, but Floyd said they have each suffered their share of road rash and sore knees.

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