We did the Walk 2017!

Posted by Karen - August 13th, 2017

Our Walk for FOP fundraiser was last Sunday, and what a day it was… By way of background, the Walk for FOP is an event held every year in Calgary, Alberta by my family and the family of our friend Kathleen Degenhardt. The event is in honour of my daughter Miranda, who is 12, and Kathleen, who is a young adult; both of these gals have fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. The event raises funds for the Canadian FOP Network, a registered charity in Canada which supports FOP research.

Erin, Ella, and William spelling FOP with their bodies!

Erin, Ella, and William spelling FOP with their bodies!

We were fortunate to have pretty much perfect weather – warm, but not hot, and perfect for walking. Yay! However, that may partially explain why Baker Park was so busy that day. So busy, in fact, that we couldn’t get our usual picnic/Walk headquarters location and had to go with a different spot (note to self; next year re-examine actually BOOKING a table, d’oh). It was a lovely spot, though unfortunately happened to be just at the beginning of the disc golf course, and so we experienced the odd disc whizzing nearby. Gah.

OK, so that wasn’t the best location. But leaving this aside, things really couldn’t have gone better! Both founding families – mine and my good friend Kathleen Degenhardt’s – had lots of folks attending, and we all had a great time walking together and socializing.

Another cool thing was that this year we had some “awareness” pamphlets prepared, and we gave a handful to each person doing the Walk to hand out at their leisure. This worked quite well; each Walker gave a pamphlet to anyone who showed the slightest interest in what we were going. Particular bonus – it turned out that one of the people we gave a pamphlet to was a pediatrician and in fact head of pediatrics at a local hospital (maybe even Alberta Children’s Hospital; I’m not sure about that). Always VERY good to make doctors, and especially pediatricians, aware of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva!

Anyway, after finishing the walking part of the event, we sat down to enjoy some grilled hot dogs, fruit, veggies, chips, and baked goods. This was probably my daughter Miranda’s favourite part, because she got to hold Kathleen’s relative, a super cute 7 month old baby girl!


As always, we took a group photo at the end… Look at all these great supporters of the FOP community!


My most profound thanks to everyone who donated. Also, extra special thanks to all members of my family and Kathleen’s family who worked so hard to make the event a big success. I’m delighted to be able to advise that we raised about $15,000 for the Canadian FOP Network, with a few donations still coming in! This is a terrific result and we are very happy about it.

If you’re still interested in donating but just haven’t gotten to it yet, please go to www.walkforfop.com and click on “General Donations” (or, contact me privately and I’ll advise how to send a cheque).


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