“Inspiring gratitude. Improving lives. Giving back.”
Just some of the phrases Vernon’s Oliver Stankiewicz uses when describing his mission to support families and individuals facing a cancer diagnosis, treatment or remission in the community.
The 2022 Movement Project, where supporters could run, walk or hike any distance from anywhere, was held during the month of May and culminated in the Move4Mom Relay held on Mother’s Day in Kalamlaka Lake Provincial Park. The project, which saw Stankiewicz run 100 kilometres in 24 hours, raised an amazing $45,232 for the McMurtry-Baerg Cancer Centre at Vernon Jubilee Hospital this year.
“One small movement, a small shift in perspective, can change someone’s story, can change someone’s life. As a community, with some movement, we have the power to make a big difference,” said Stankiewicz. “Myself and my partner Marie (Atticus) started The Movement Project with the idea of taking small steps forward, one foot in front of the other. This small ripple has spread and as a community, as a team we have created something great, a movement.”
Helping The Movement Project in 2022 was a pledge from Vernon’s Bannister Vernon. The auto dealer agreed to match donations to the project up to $10,000.
“We hope to see more businesses next year make pledges to match a dollar value per kilometre, and we challenge other local businesses to step up and set a goal. It’s a great way to show people that small steps, as a community, can make a big difference and especially in this current environment, people want to get out and participate in live events that benefit the community.”
Stankiewicz started the project following the death of his mother from cancer at age 59.
“What started as a tribute to his mom, Laura Jean Stankiewicz, who sadly passed away from uterine cancer in 2020, has shifted to a more encompassing community event,” said Kate McBrearty, VJH Foundation executive director. “What Oliver and Marie have achieved in amplifying The Movement forward and supporting cancer care in such a short time is astounding. We are in awe of their results.”