MONTREAL – Akshay Grover has been running since he was eight years old, and even sold old video games to buy himself a treadmill when he was just 12. Now, at 16, when asked to come up with a project as part of the International Baccalaureate he is completing in high school, Grover is taking things one step further.
This summer, Grover will be running from Montreal to Toronto to raise funds for Childhood Cancer Canada, an organization which helps the 10,000 children living with cancer in the country.
“I can do something that I love while helping others,” said Grover.
“I can use that to help those in need,” he added. Grover has been training three to five times a week since last August – rain or shine.
“He inspires all of us,” said his former teacher and project adviser, Vanessa Amar. “I’m training now so that I can maybe start him on his run.”
“He’s motivating everybody at all the grade levels; he’s in the 10th grade and he’s got 11th graders behind him and their parents are calling and wanting to sponsor him,” said Amar.
Though his mother, Sabrina Kandola, was initially worried about the safety of her son running along the highway, she will be with him every step of the way.
“I wasn’t going to be that mother that was going to stop my child from having this great ambition,” she said.
Grover will be completing the 550 kilometre journey in just two weeks, running the equivalent of a marathon a day. To those who have told him he may not make it, Grover has a simple answer.
“You’ve got to believe in yourself,” he said, “even if others don’t believe in you.”
“You have to know that it’s going to take time and determination and hard work. And you have to put in the time and effort,” he said.
“I’m so very proud of him because he’s going to be touching so many people’s lives, as well as other peers,” said his mother. “If other teenagers can be busy at home and focusing on a dream like this, I can’t even imagine what the world would be.”
Grover’s adventure will begin August 1. By then, he hopes to have raised $10,000. Donations can be made here.
© Shaw Media, 2014