With legs of steal, a heart of gold and a set purpose, Curtis Hargrove has completed two inspirational runs over the past decade.
And he’s getting ready to do it again — run thousands of kilometres in support of a cause, and this time he’s running down to the Ellen DeGeneres Show in Los Angeles.
He will be starting his run from Port Alberni, B.C. and 2,400 kms later, he will hopefully be delivering a very special blanket to Ellen and bolstering awareness to a cause, Hugginz by Angel.
Hargrove shared about his new mission, which he plans to start in August, and his past journeys with the students of Father Lacombe Catholic School last week.
Hargrove, known as the Cold Lake Runner, has participated in many fundraising marathons and events to bring awareness to several causes and charities over the past decade. Starting in May 2012, Hargrove set out a run across Canada in support of the Stollery Children’s Hospital of Edmonton.
“I was raising money for these kids,” he explained to the students. “I wanted to make sure these kids could go home to their families each day.”
That is in essence what spurred him on all across Canada.
“There are days when you want to give up and you want to quit, but you must persevere,” he said. “You’ve got to believe and you’ve got to have faith.”
Hargrove made it to his final destination, the B.C. coast, but that did not quench his desire to keep fundraising and running for charities.
With his newly-planned journey, he will be running a blanket made by Angel, a 19-year-old girl with Down Syndrome who lives in Port Alberni, to LA.
She has been making blankets for sick children to comfort them during their hospital stays for the past three years.
Angel hand-makes blankets and then delivers them by mail or in person, each infused with love to children in need in hospitals around the world.
How he met Angel is also an interesting story. Both Hargrove and Angel were nominated as part of Scotia Bank’s Game Changers program, which saw the inspirational pair matched up for the fundraiser at the Grey Cup in 2012.
“That’s where Angel and I had huge connection,” he said. “We were both helping kids that were really, really sick and we kept in touch over the past couple of years.”
Hargrove was also invited to be Angel’s prom date last year.
“That’s where I saw how many people she has affected in her life,” he said.
Angel, in her young age, has raised over $330,000 for various charities, including her blanket charity Hugginz by Angel.
“I said to Angel’s mom, if Angel makes Ellen a blanket, I will deliver it personally,” said Hargrove. “I will run from Port Alberni B.C. all the way to Ellen’s studio in California.”
Acting as Angel’s personal courier, he will run with the special cargo in hand over an estimated 43 hours of solid running.
“I’m going to be trying to do about 58 marathons in 49 days,” he told the students of the undertaking. “We are hoping with all the support, that we all can make Angel’s dreams come true and she can get Ellen’s help in making these blankets.”
Hargrove originally planned to leave on May 31st, but he has postponed his run until Aug. 16th due to Angel’s surgery. She wanted to be able to have a launch party and see Hargrove off on his journey.
“So the next day she can hand me her blanket for Ellen and her letter and I will go on my way, just so Ellen can help her,” he said.