To the Editor;

A friend of mine, who I will call Eddy, who has a stunning property on East River St. Mary’s asked me if I would go to his cottage to take some lumber down so he could build a deck overlooking the river for his wife.

Now to get to the point of my article.

As we approached close to the entrance of his property, Eddy spotted what he thought was a bear on the side of the road; it turned out it was Steven Auger who was walking from Quebec to the furthest point of Newfoundland to raise awareness of the challenges people who have mental issues and those with addictions and how the resources that are out there are far from efficient and how many struggle just to get by on a daily basis. So, after a conversation with Steve, my friend explained he was far off his route, and it would probably would have been a couple days to get before he would get to his destination where he hoped to be this day. So, my friend convinced him to put his push along buggy on the back of the truck and he would get him close to his destination. Though somewhat reluctant he accepted our offer because he already walked 2,000 km with no assistance, slept in his tent every night usually behind a church if that was possible.

So, before we took him to his destination, Eddy took him to his cottage and gave him bottled water as he told us he ran out a few hours ago. So, as we continued our journey we found a spot, a convenience store on his intended route. We asked him why he was doing his walk. His reply was simple.

He said, “I was there 15 years ago but now my life seems to have so much more meaning.” As Steven practices Tia Chi and mental spiritual meditation, he said he is in the best place in his life he has ever been and spreading awareness of mental health and additions is a disease and should be treated as such. Like any other disease that takes so many lives daily, we need to look at a solution to this problem.

My friend Eddy was touched by what Steven educated us on and, before we left, my friend gave him a generous donation to his cause; unfortunately I only had my debit card. What I learned that day was my friend had a big heart that inspired me to remember it is always better to give than to receive. Also, as Steve said the old saying “don’t judge someone if you have never walked in their shoes.”

In closing, this day was July 6 on Eddy’s birthday.

It was a very inspirational day.

(The fellow walking for awareness had an article in the Chronicle Herald a few weeks back. Just thought people would like an update on his journey.)

Mike Adamson

Toney River