Injury stops A Journey of Healing at halfway point

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Palliser teacher Julie Macklin will be unable to complete the second day and final 50 kilometres of “A Journey of Healing” Sunday.

Macklin suffered a sprained ankle near the end of the first 50-km leg yet managed to reach her destination of Barons around 7 p.m. Saturday. She spent about 11 hours walking from Vulcan to Barons.

Macklin was walking to raise awareness and support for the Southern Alberta Children Advocacy Center, which would serve all of southern Alberta from locations in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. The centre was launched at a special event earlier this month with a showing of the documentary “Swift Current” and a special introduction by Sheldon Kennedy. Kennedy, a former professional hockey player, is now a leading advocate for victims of sexual abuse. The southern Alberta center will be modelled after the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre in Calgary, a one-stop shop for victims of abuse and their families. The centre brings together a range of human services including law enforcement, mental health and other human services.

Macklin, who teaches art at several of Palliser’s Hutterite colonies, describes herself as a “walking artist.” She planned to create a piece of art based on her experience of walking from Vulcan to Lethbridge for display at the SACAC.

In an email Saturday night, Macklin said she’s disappointed at not being able finish the journey Sunday, but she’s already looking forward to completing the Barons to Lethbridge leg in the spring. She can’t complete the walk any sooner, not only because of concerns about the weather, but because the short daylight hours make it less safe for walking.

Bolstering her spirits was news that Alberta Teachers Association Local 19, which represents Palliser’s teachers, will donate $1,000 to the SACAC, in support of Macklin’s efforts.

Supporters can also donate $5 conveniently and securely by texting the word “WALK” to 80100 on their cell phones. The text-to-donate option was made possible thanks to a partnership with Lethbridge Family Services.