Meet the Kelowna woman paddling hundreds of km for a purpose

Playing a part in her family member's passion

In August last year, Kim Inglis lost her cousin Tyler unexpectedly.

His passing left behind his wife and son, who’s on the autism spectrum. Kim wanted to honour Tyler’s vision and passion for raising funds for autism awareness.

“He planned to create a big boxing event to do just that. But he passed away before being able to do that,” Inglis told Kelowna10. “What I'm doing here is basically taking the spirit of what he was wanting to do, just doing it in a in a different sport.”

That sport is paddling, covering 365 kilometers either out on open waters in her surfski kayak, or on her machine rower in her home. The journey began on March 1, and will wrap up on April 2, coinciding with World Autism Awareness Day.

Under the banner of her campaign, ‘Making Waves for Autism’, Inglis has a fundraising goal of $25,000, which she's poised to surpass April 2.

“Everybody is touched by autism in some form or another. Either they've got a family member with it, or they themselves have it,” she said. “Everybody knows someone who is on the spectrum. One in 50 Canadians have been diagnosed on the spectrum. So it touches a lot of people.”

With all the attention she’s been receiving for efforts in raising awareness, Inglis hasn’t lost sight of who inspires her the most, her cousin Tyler.

“I view it as him inspiring people not necessarily myself,” she said “I view myself as the messenger, getting the message out about autism, shining a light on autism acceptance and autism awareness."

Inglis is already planning to expand the endeavour to a bigger scale with the hopes of having a national impact.

Donations to her campaign can me made online and will be accepted until the end of April.

All the proceeds will be donated to Autism Canada.

Published 2024-03-29 by Connor Chan

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