Free The Children

Free The Children


May 16, 2013 15:00 ET

Mission Complete! Double Amputee Spencer West Crosses Finish Line of 11-day / 300 Km Trek from Edmonton to Calgary in Support of Free The Children

11-day trek proved to be more difficult than last summer's climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro; Canada to continue to fundraise for Spencer's cause, Free The Children's year-long Water Initiative

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - May 16, 2013) -

Editors Note: There are 3 photos associated with this Press Release

Today, double amputee Spencer West has successfully completed Free The Children's We Walk 4Water presented by SUBWAY® restaurants, an 11-day, 300 km trek - on his hands and in his wheelchair - from Edmonton to Calgary to raise money for the charity's year-long Water Initiative, while walking in solidarity in support of the millions of people around the world who travel long distances each day to access clean water for their families. West and his two best friends, David Johnson and Alex Meers, crossed the finish line today at Mountain Park School in front of more than 1,000 local Calgary students.

"We thought our climb up Mount Kilimanjaro last summer was going to be more challenging," said Me to We Speaker, Spencer West. "We were wrong. After a few days on the road, we noticed the terrain wasn't changing. It remained flat, which meant we were using the exact same muscles for 11 days straight for approximately 25-35 km each day. We pretty much did the entire walk in pain, coupled with physical and mental exhaustion, but it was worth it! Thinking about the bigger picture, and the people who have to travel each day to collect clean water, coupled with all the incredible school and community support we've received here, is re-affirming to us, that what we did was worth it."

West began the 11-day walk on May 6 in Edmonton, Alberta, and travelled through cities such as Beaumont, Leduc, Millet, Wetaskiwin, Ponoka, Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer, Innisfail, Olds, Didsbury, Carstairs, Crossfield, and Airdrie, finally stopping in Calgary today, on Thursday, May 16. Supporters were able to follow along Spencer's journey as he posted daily updates, video, and photos to his We Walk 4Water blog and Free The Children's YouTube channel. In addition to walking 25-35 km each day, Spencer and team stopped off at a local school each day to speak to hundreds of students that are fundraising for We Walk 4Water.

Special guests such as Grammy winner Nelly Furtado; Aislinn Paul and Munro Chambers from the hit TV show, DEGRASSI; "Survivor" winner, philanthropist, motivational speaker and TV personality Ethan Zohn; actor, speaker, author and former U.S. Army soldier J.R. Martinez; Canadian singer Tyler Shaw; and mamas from Free The Children international development communities in Kenya were amongst those who came out to walk alongside Spencer, David and Alex to show their support.

Spencer West was born with a genetic disorder called sacral agenesis. His legs were amputated at the age of five. His doctors told him he would never be a functioning member of society, but West and his family never lost hope. In fact, over the years, West has been using his platform to challenge and inspire hundreds of thousands of youth around the world. Last year, he successfully reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. This year, he walked 300 km from Edmonton to Calgary, all to support Free The Children clean water projects.

Free The Children's year-long Water Initiative has a goal of providing 100,000 people in its international developing communities with a permanent source of clean water. Just a $25.00 donation provides one person with clean water for life. Individuals can visit to donate and support Spencer and Free The Children.

To date, Free The Children's year-long Water Initiative has raised enough money to provide more than 85,000 people with clean water for life through such initiatives as We Create Change, ongoing online donations, and sales from Me to We Water Rafiki chains.

We Walk 4Water is presented by SUBWAY® restaurants along with Co-Chairs of We Walk 4Water, Margot Micallef and Rob Chad. Special thanks to our friends at RBC, The Keg Steakhouse & Bar, and our many other sponsors for their generosity and support around this initiative.

Quick links to multimedia assets from We Walk 4Water:

Daily photos of We Walk 4Water -

Daily video re-caps from We Walk 4Water -

Spencer West daily blogs from We Walk 4Water -

About Free The Children

Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner. Founded in 1995 by international activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children believes in a world where young people are free to achieve their fullest potential, and empowers youth to remove barriers that prevent them from being active local and global citizens. The organization's domestic programs-which includes We Day, Free The Children's signature youth empowerment event-educate, engage and empower 1.7 million young people across North America, the UK and around the world to become engaged global citizens. Its international projects have brought more than 650 schools and school rooms to youth and provided clean water and sanitation, health care and food security to one million people around the world, freeing children and their families from the cycle of poverty.

The organization has received the World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child, the Human Rights Award from the World Association of Non‐Governmental Organizations, and has formed successful partnerships with leading school boards and Oprah's Angel Network. For more information, visit


The SUBWAY® restaurant chain is the world's largest submarine sandwich franchise, with 33,455 restaurants in 92 countries and 2,555 restaurants in Canada. In 2002, the SUBWAY® chain surpassed McDonald's in the number of restaurants open in the United States and Canada. Headquartered in Milford, Conn., the SUBWAY® restaurant chain was cofounded by Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck in 1965. For more information about the SUBWAY® restaurant chain, visit or

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