Victoria, B.C. marks end of cross-Canada walk for Ontario woman
On August 6, Therese Weiler put her foot into the Pacific Ocean and hurled the stone she had been carrying for nine months into the sea.
The mother of six from Hanover, Ontario had just finished her “Walk for Life” across Canada, from Newfoundland to Victoria. She did it, she says, to “speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
She had picked up the stone on the east coast in April of 1992 and carried it with her across the country. Along the way the stone seemed to get heavier and heavier, she remembers. Every day it seemed harder to get up and walk the 40 kilometres. Now the journey is over she says it seems incredible it even happened.
“I sat in my living room the other day and said I can’t believe I did this,” she says. Yet despite the sheer physical effort of her walk, she considers her struggles to have been worthwhile.
All along her route, which took her the 7,000 km. across the country, she spread the pro-life message to anyone who would listen.
“I was amazed at some of the people God led me to,” she says. “Some of the reporters didn’t understand what was happening at first.” After speaking with Therese “they became really upset about the abortion issue.”
The trip was sponsored by Business for Life, a fundraising group for the pro-life movement. The sponsorship enabled the Weilers to purchase a mobile home which followed her during her trip. Her husband was with her six months of the journey and her children were “right behind me” throughout it all, she says.
Therese went through seven pairs of running shoes, walked through all kinds of weather, and made countless contacts for the pro-life cause. She walked with the realization she was following in the footsteps of some other Canadian heroes.
“I used to wonder how Terry Fox did it when my leg bothered me,” she relates. “The first three to four months were really hard on my body. But the last month was the hardest. It was a battle every morning to get up.”
She had a deeply religious motivation for the journey and throughout considered it “God’s walk.”
She says she might return to some of the places she passed along the way to do some more speaking engagements.
“What amazed me the most is how unaware even some of our pro-life people area bout the issue,” she says.