The road was long and winding, but Second World War veteran Frank Atchison wasn’t intimidated.
After a two-month journey by foot of more than 260 km, Atchison completed his fundraising walk through central Saskatchewan in Regina on Tuesday afternoon — his 95th birthday.
“It’s really been fun,” Atchison told Global News after arriving in Wascana Park.
“Now that it’s over, I’m glad that I did it,” he joked.
Exactly two months ago on April 15, he set out from Saskatoon.
He walked about five kilometres every day. At first, he went home at night, but once he got too far out, he started sleeping in a motorhome.
Some of the terrain was challenging for him.
“One of the toughest things was there’s a lot of gravel and walking on the gravel was like walking on marbles. It was very tough,” said Atchison.
As a member of the Shriners, an organization committed to helping children access medical care, his aim was to raise money for the cause.
“I’ve been with them for 50 years and saw some of the wonderful things that have happened with some of these children who have gone through our Shriners hospitals,” Atchison said.
Early estimates around the time he arrived in Regina indicate he brought in more than $50,000. It’s being split between the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon and Shriner’s Hospital in Montreal.
Waiting for Atchison near the finish line in Regina Tuesday afternoon was 14-year-old Carter Brown. Brown has brittle bone disease and through the Shriners, has received multiple treatments in Montreal.
“I’m so grateful to be here today to say thank you to Frank. for not only raising money for our hospital, but for raising awareness, too,” said Brown.