Christine Diab is participating in this year’s Woman2Warrior event

Vancouver Island woman takes on obstacle course for autistic son

Five-Hundred Miles by the Proclaimers is a song Christine Diab and her son Myles know like the back of their hand.

Five-Hundred Miles by the Proclaimers is a song Christine Diab and her son Myles know like the back of their hand.

“Myles likes the song 500 Miles because he thinks it was written for him,” said Diab, who went to university in Victoria but now lives in Duncan. “We’ve always been walkers, we walk everywhere, that’s why Myles likes the song because it is like a marching song.”

Myles, 15, has autism spectrum disorder and a developmental disability.

And every day, Christine and Myles do just as the song says — walk.

“He enjoys walking around town and talking to people he knows because where we live he knows everybody and if he doesn’t he’ll talk to you anyway,” she laughed.

Five-hundred is also the fundraising goal that Diab is trying to raise as part of Woman2Warrior, Victoria’s only women’s charity obstacle adventure race to support Easter Seals camps.

The event is a non-timed, five-kilometre run that involves a dozen obstacles designed to test strength, ability, balance and endurance.

Diab, along with her two teammates, have already raised the minimum $300 and are close to their $500 goal. Five-hundred miles is also their team name.

The family understands the importance of overnight summer camps for kids with physical and/or mental disabilities, as Myles has attended Camp Shawnigan, an Easter Seals camp on Vancouver Island, for the past seven years.

“He’s doing it on his own. It’s a typical camp experience. Kids come back with objects they’ve created and some good memories and stories that I’m not involved with,” Diab said.

“It’s really given him a lot of independence. For a kid like him, it’s really hard because everything has to be facilitated with his parents and all we had to do was pack his clothes and drop him off — that’s how good it is.”

Shannon Bernays, director of special events on Vancouver Island with Easter Seals, said in their inaugural year on the Island, they have more than 150 people registered.

“All the funds raised on the Island stay on the Island,” Bernays said.

“It means so much to the children. Once they’ve gone for that first week, they love it so much. They start doing the countdown for the next year. They get all excited.”

For Diab, getting down and dirty doesn’t bother her.

“It’s a metaphor for the kids who go to camp. They deal with all these challenges all the time,” she said. “If those kids can go there and do the things that they do at camp, I can do this.”

Woman2Warrior takes place on Sunday, Aug. 30 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at West Shore Parks and Recreation.

For more information or to register, go to victoria.woman2warrior.ca.

 

 

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