If you think you’ve been cold AF the past few days thanks to good ol’ Mother Nature, you’ll feel less sorry for yourself once you hear Steve McNeil’s story.
Yesterday, the Toronto man skated for 19 hours straight at Nathan Phillips Square. He hit the ice at 12:00am on December 15 and didn’t stop until 7:26pm.
It wasn’t because he is a professional skater in need of a killer workout or had nothing else to do – the whole initiative was to honour his mother by raising money for Alzheimer’s research.
— Steve McNeil (@1926skate) December 14, 2016
His late mother battled the devastating disease for 15 years and his mother-in-law struggles with dementia.
He skated for 19 hours and 26 minutes because 1926 was the year his mom was born. “In the middle of refereeing a hockey game five and a half years ago, I decided this is how I could try and give back,” he “In the middle of refereeing a hockey game five and a half years ago, I decided this is how I could try and give back,” he told the CBC. He is now in his fifth year of doing the skate.
As for dealing with the brutal cold – not to mention, a snowstorm – McNeil shared a few of his strategies with the CBC. He pretended he was ice fishing for starters, something he loves to do and has done in worse conditions.
He also blasted AC/DC, a nod to Malcolm Young, AC/DC’s guitarist and co-founder who is now living in a nursing home with dementia.
“It’s only one day. I saw what people go through every day to take care of their aging parents,” McNeil told the CBC.
According to his fundraising page, he has raised close to $8000 so far with his requests for donations of $19.26.
If you want to help, it’s not too late to donate.