HUNTSVILLE, ON – A Toronto man was influenced by a Muskoka camp so much that he is giving back by riding his bike across Canada.

Ian Faulds was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 12-years-old. Much to his resistance, he was forced to go to Camp Huronda, which is a specialized facility for kids with the disease.

“I didn’t want to go at first,” Faulds said. “It ended up changing my life forever though. I became a teacher because I loved working with kids at camp. I ended up getting into outdoor education. It all can be directed back to Camp Huronda. I even met my wife because of it, but that’s a story for another day.”

Faulds has spent every summer since 2016 cycling across Canada in phases and wants to visit all 13 diabetes camps (D-Camps) across the nation.

He is visiting Camp Huronda today to speak with kids about his story and show them that they can live normal lives with diabetes.

“Essentially my message is, you have to be the boss of your diabetes rather than diabetes being the boss of you,” Faulds said. “I think kids get that. To do that you have to manage it as best you can and listen to your doctors. Just really be active in taking care of things.”

The teacher admitted that even if someone takes the best care of themselves they can, everyone has a different experience with the disease.

“For me, I have just been really fortunate,” Faulds said. “There are still many things I could be doing better.”

Faulds refers to the trip as his “adventure” and rode from Victoria, B.C. to Calgary, Alberta in his first summer. In 2017 he went from Calgary to Thunder Bay, Ontario. Last year was a shorter trip for Faulds compared to his others. He biked from Thunder Bay to Camp Huronda and then to Frederick Banting sites across Ontario.

Banting was a Nobel Prize-winning Canadian scientist who created insulin treatments for diabetics, saving millions of lives.

This summer, the plan is to ride from Camp Huronda to Ottawa. Faulds said his adventure has been incredible and suggested others experience every part of Canada they can.

“The biggest piece for me was just meeting the people in different parts of the country and listening to their stories,” Faulds said. “If we all did that, we would have a more united shared vision of who we are, what we’ve got and what we need to do in the future.”

There is no plan on stopping for Faulds. He will ride from Ottawa to Halifax, Nova Scotia next year. By the time he finishes his trip in Newfound Land in 2021, Faulds will have biked approximately 10,000 km.

He is raising money on his trip to help send kids to D-Camps. Frualds said he has only reached one-fifth of his $25,000 goal though. He said there is a website set up for anyone looking to donate.