A different sort of retirement project

Loretta and Marvin Wideen are starting retired life in a decidedly different way. The B.C. couple, who both turned 65 this year, are cycling across Canada in support of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada. Their son Brian Wideen, who is chronicling the trip on the Internet on their website, recently emailed us at fifty-plus.net.

“I am trying to raise awareness of both the ride (which is incredible) and, on their behalf, schizophrenia,” writes Brian. “So far, they have travelled about 2,000 kms. They started in Victoria on the west coast, made it through the Rockies, through their home town on the prairies in Saskatchewan, and are about to enter Manitoba.”

A check of the website yesterday (June 24) reveals that the courageous couple are now heading out of Russell, Manitoba, having already pedaled more than 2000 kilometres since they left Victoria in early May.

A former psychiatric clinician at Royal Columbian Hospital, Loretta told Coquitlam Today that the couple chose schizophrenia because of “my sentiments for the struggle and the courage for people and their families dealing with this disease. I feel passionate about it. When you see people coming to the hospal they’re usually young and have had a great future. Suddenly it’s cut off. The experience for the family is devastating and for a nurse it’s heartbreaking.”

Follow the Wideen’s progress to Newfoundland at the site listed below, and if you’d like to support their efforts on behalf of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada, send a donation to the “Wideen Ride” c/o Schizophrenia Society of Canada, 75 The Donway West, Suite 814, Don Mills, Ont., M3C 2E9.