In 2007, GIVETOLIVE founders Ashley Ward and Todd McDonald crossed paths with an inspirational young man preparing to embark on a 7,000 km cycle across Canada
Tony Griffin, a renowned Irish athlete studying at Dalhousie University in Halifax, had lost his father to cancer only months prior and was cycling to raise funds for others suffering from this illness. McDonald says of meeting Tony for the first time, “What struck me the most was that he was countering his extreme sadness over the loss of his father by immediately doing something to help others. I remember him telling me the best way he knew how to deal with grief was to find others suffering from something worse and help them out. That resonated with me then, and still does today.”
The crazy Irishman had no bike, hadn’t been on a bike since he was 12, and had no real idea how big Canada was. What he did have was a 1-way ticket to Vancouver and complete faith that success was his only option. McDonald and Ward were so inspired by his “belief in all that could go right” that they volunteered to help him with logistics and fundraising. Six months later, Tony had cycled 7,000 kms from Vancouver to Halifax and the adventure had raised over $500,000 to donate to charities fighting the war on cancer. They were so moved by the joy and pleasure they got from helping others that they knew this once-in-a-lifetime experience had to become a way of life.