Father finishes bike ride in Halifax in memory of daughter
It was an emotional journey that came to an end after a final push into Halifax.
Doug Harris cycled across Eastern Canada in memory of his late daughter.
While he's arrived at his destination, he hopes his mission and message will continue.
Harris had his daughter Kate on his mind as he made his way into Halifax Sunday afternoon.
“I was thinking about Kate. She actually worked in the building right to my left right now,” Harris said, pointing to the Halifax Armoury across the street from the Halifax Common. “So, it's a special place for me.”
On May 30, Doug Harris embarked on an ambitious journey to cycle from London, Ont., to Halifax as part of an initiative called For the Love of Kate I Ride.
“For the Love of Kate is a ride that my husband and I decided to do, that he needed to do, the bicycle riding, to raise awareness for help for suicide,” said Brenda Harris, Kate’s mom.
In August 2016, Doug and Brenda Harris tragically lost their daughter, Kate, to suicide.
“Kate was an amazing, bubbly, warm on the outside, happy-go-lucky, silly girl,” said Doug Harris. “Took life seriously, but, also had a lot of fun, could be goofy. She did a lot of good.”
Kate was born in Ontario, but, lived and died in Halifax.
After her death, the Harris family wanted to help raise funds for St. Joseph's Health Care London and their Zero Suicide initiative.
“(It’s) an initiative that has been in the States and in the U.K. for quite a while,” said Brenda Harris. “It is working there. London is the first hospital to have it there and it is to make sure that nobody falls through the cracks. That anybody that needs help, gets the help that they need & they can reach out to them.”
The Harris family also wants to raise awareness about suicide in hopes that no other family will be in the same situation they are.
“I want suicide not to be a dirty word and truly it is with so many people,” Doug Harris said. “They just don't want to talk about it. They don't want to talk about their own depression, their own issues. I want to see that change.”
Said Brenda Harris:“Let people know if you need help. If you need help, there's help out there. There's no shame in saying you need help.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Natasha Pace.