That's the question that led to the birth of Jesse's Journey when one family dared to dream about what's possible after learning the crushing news that Duchenne muscular dystrophy had become a part of their daily lives.
When John and Sherene Davidson learned that their middle son Jesse was diagnosed with Duchenne they charted a life changing course for themselves-setting out to raise research funds to find the elusive cure.
The story of Jesse's Journey began to unfold in the summer of 1995 when John Davidson- at the age of 49-set out on an incredible mission to push his 15 year old son Jesse across Ontario in his wheelchair-a trek of 3339 kilometres. The journey became a rallying point for people in communities across Ontario and across Canada . This grueling test of endurance for a determined father and son generated $1.5 million dollars for research.
Three years later there was another chapter in the amazing story. In 1998 John Davidson found himself on the road again-this time alone. On his son Jesse's 18 th birthday John dipped his running shoes in the Atlantic Ocean at St. John's Newfoundland . 286 days later he dipped those same running shoes in the Pacific at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria . The 8300 kilometre journey across Canada generated $2 million dollars in grassroots donations made by Canadians coast to coast. From their humble beginning the Davidson's managed to bring the Jesse Davidson Endowment on stream. The means was at hand to begin funding research each and every year.
In 2000-2001 John Davidson wrote A Canadian Story. This book was written from journals kept during both walks. The story makes a bold statement. It is an inspiring and captivating story about how an ordinary man and his son accomplished something extraordinary. On every page you will feel the heart of Canada and its people.
“My fondest hope is that you will enjoy and want to share our story with someone you love. I hope you enjoy Chapter One .”
~ John Davidson
Jesse’s Journey - The Foundation for Gene and Cell Therapy
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