The Sunrise Run

My name is Jonathan Young and from July 12-26, 2009, I ran the Sunrise Trail, from Auld’s Cove to Amherst in Nova Scotia, Canada, to raise funds for The Palliative Care Program in Pictou County. I ran for twelve days, at distances of approximately 22-24km each day and completed the trail. 

You may be asking yourself how and why I came up with this idea, to run the approximately 300 km Sunrise Trail in two weeks, to raise funds for the Palliative Care Program.

Jill Young:

"In 2007 our mother, Sharon, was diagnosed with lung cancer that later metastisized to her brain.While the shock of the metastises set it, we met with Dr Farrell at the palliative care unit of the Aberdeen Hospital. Mum was admitted to the Palliative Care Unit for pain management and released 4 days later. Mum was then put on the Palliative Care Program list, which means that she was able to receive nursing visits from the Pictou County VON and receive home, personal and respite care from the Certified Care Assistants, who also work for the VON.
The nursing visits were daily, to assess Mum's pain levels (she was very fortunate not to ever have had much pain), take her vital signs, make note of any physical/mental changes that she was experiencing and generally assess her overall well being and condition. Mum, having lived and worked in Pictou County her whole life, knew the majority of  nurses and care workers who came to see her and while she was very aware of the seriousness of her condition, she treated these visits like social occasions, chatting and sharing news and jokes with all who came through the door.

The attitude of positivity, caring and professionalism with which the VON perform these vitally important services is admirable. The help we received from the VON under the Palliative Care Program was essential, as it allowed us to look after our mother in her own home, which she loved, for as long as was possible. As many of you know, caring for someone who is terminally ill is extremely rewarding but exhausting, both mentally and physically. Even though Mum was an exceptional case and was able to remain positive and as active as she could right until the end of her life, knowing that we could rely on the VON/Palliative Care Program for support was vital.
When Mum's condition deteriorated last July, she was once again admitted to the Palliative Care Unit, but this time she would not be coming home. It was because she had had such a positive experience in the unit earlier in the year that she knew it was where she had to be and she was not afraid to be going. In fact, she asked to go. She was admitted on a Sunday night and my brother and I spent the next week with her at the hospital. The unit itself is amazing and we are so fortunate to have a facility of this quality in Pictou County. It is designed for the families' comfort as well as the patients'. Families are able to stay with their loved one day and night, can make their meals there and there are even CD players in the room, so music can be played to comfort the patient and the family. Dr Farrell, his staff and the volunteers on the unit are incredible. The respect and care that the patients and their families are given during this most difficult process is inspiring.
My brother and I are most grateful for the care that our mother received and that is why we want to give back to the people and program that helped our family during the most trying period of our lives. We want to raise funds for the Palliative Care Program as we know that there are many other families in the County that could and do benefit from these wonderful services. 
Mum said 'If I ever get out of this (meaning her illness), I'm going to come and volunteer on this floor, these people are amazing'. Through this fundraising effort, we can all show our gratitude, Mum's included. "

Please support this endeavour by sending a donation directly to the hospital, mentioning the Sunrise Run in the communication.

Aberdeen Palliative Care Society                                                                                                                                                           c/o Debbie Williams                                                                                                                                                                       Aberdeen Hospital                                                                                                                                                                                       835 East River Road                                                                                                                                                                                    New Glasgow, Nova Scotia,                                                                                                                                                                  CanadaB2H 3S6

Alternatively, you can go to to make a donation online. Also, for those of you in Canada, please go to to make a direct on line donation to the Aberdeen Palliative Care Society and mention the Sunrise Run in your communication. Thanks.

Special thanks to:  Sobeys Stores of Pictou County
- The Amherst Wandlyn Inn for their support of the Run -
- Eastern Sign Print for printing posters -
and Thank you to the Athletic Booster Club, parents, staff and students of St. John's International School for their generous support. 
  And of course, all of you who have made donations!