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Okanagan family honours mother’s memory with fundraiser trek

Click to play video: 'Okanagan family honours mom’s memory with fundraiser' Okanagan family honours mom’s memory with fundraiser
A family who is mourning the loss of their mother is honouring her memory by taking on an athletic challenge , hiking and biking the distance from Penticton to Vernon. Sydney Morton reports. – Apr 11, 2021

Chantelle Marcellus is training for a 123.2-kilometer trek from Penticton to Vernon as part of a fundraiser to help build the first youth addictions recovery house in the Okanagan.

Marcellus estimates the journey will take 12 hours to complete by foot and bicycle, accompanied by two of her brothers. The trek, called Carrie’s Cause, is in honour of their late mother, Cara-Jean [Carrie] Koski, who died earlier this year.

Read more: New treatment beds for youth struggling with substance use announced for Kelowna

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“Every time I get to the top of a mountain lately I feel like she is there and every step we take will be for her and my younger brother,” said Marcellus.

Their brother, Matthew, died of an overdose in 2016, which inspired Koski at the time to join Moms Stop the Harm.

“She advocated, attended grief groups, vigils and became a warrior for Mathew and others who were struggling. She was extremely passionate about their purpose. My mom gave so selflessly and cared so deeply that I feel that she is owed recognition,” said a statement on Carrie’s Cause Facebook page.

The family is carrying on their mother’s quest to help youth battling addiction in Kelowna.

“After losing our brother in 2016, she was very active with Moms Stop The Harm and I wanted to find an organization that catered to youth,” said Marcellus.

Read more: Donation helps bring new youth recovery centre to the Okanagan

The money the siblings raise will go towards the opening of The Bridge Youth & Family Services Society Youth Recovery House, which will be the first of its kind in the valley.

The siblings will begin their journey at 7 a.m. on April 30, the day of their mother’s birthday.

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