94-year-old Frank Atchison marks midway point in 260 km fundraising walk

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WATCH: Frank Atchison, 94, has completed half of his fundraising walk that began in Saskatoon and will end in Regina on June 15, his birthday – May 6, 2021

Frank Atchison reached the midway point of his fundraising walk from Saskatoon to Regina on Thursday.

The 94-year-old’s 260-kilometre walk is raising funds for the Shriners and Jim Pattison children’s hospitals in Montreal and Saskatoon.

Read more: 94-year-old walking from Saskatoon to Regina to fundraise for sick kids

While stopping in Davidson, he met the Kot family from Saskatoon.

Kayden Kot, 10, was diagnosed with a rare digestive disorder that has left him with severe disabilities.

His sister, Edyn, said Kayden had life-changing back surgery at the Shriner’s hospital in Montreal in September to help fix his scoliosis (curved spine) to help with his ability to stand and walking.

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Kayden’s mom Sylvie said she could tell from the moment she met Atchison, it’s all about the kids.

“His heart is in it for the kids,” she said. “He wants to know those stories and he wants to know those kinds of impactful things that matter to the kids and to their families, like our family.”

“We are so incredibly thankful to be here and for Frank’s ability and his cause.”

Read more: Sask. government to fund treatment for boy with rare eating disorder (from 2016)

The family gifted Atchison with some thank you posters, one featured Kayden and his class at Holy Family School.

Wa Wa Shriners potentate Bill Fitzsimmons says Atchison has been raising money for kids and those in need for five decades.

“We raise money in all kinds of ways, functions, and parades that the Shriners have so that we are supporting those that can’t,” Fitzsimmons said.

Read more: London Children’s Hospital marks opening of province’s 3rd pediatric sleep lab

Atchison said the support to this point has been incredible — beyond what he could have imagined.

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He adds he would love for each child or family to give a testimony to tell their own unique and heartwarming stories. He says that is what brings him the most joy: kids and their smiles.

“I can retell the story but it’s not like it’s coming from the horse’s mouth,” Atchison says. “Somebody that has been through it. It makes it very believable the things that we have done.”

Frank Atchison and his walking team on their way to Davidson, Sask. Brady Ratzlaff/ Global News

Atchison says they are three days ahead of schedule and he knows exactly how to spend those free days.

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“I’m going to take the weekend off, the Mothers Day weekend off, and take my wife out,” says Atchison with a huge smile on his face.

Read more: Okanagan family is grateful for BC Children’s Hospital

He says he expects to make it to Regina by June 15, his birthday.

To donate to Frank’s cause you can visit the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital website.

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