Bruce Johnson and his 17-year-old daughter, Holly, left their daily lives to travel more than 17,000 kilometers on a motorcycle during a multi-month trip to raise money for Children & # 39; s Miracle Network (CMN). The inspiration for their efforts began with a tragic loss two decades ago.
The first child of Bruce and his wife Mary, Alyssa Rae, died after 20 days at the Hospital for Sick Children, also known as Sufferers, in Toronto, Canada. SickKids is affiliated with CMN, a non-profit organization that raises funds and raises awareness among its 170 member hospitals, which offer millions of treatments to children in the United States and Canada. according to their website.
"That's how well we liked the MCN," Bruce told CBS News. "When Alyssa got sick and died, they really put their angel wings around us to isolate us as much as possible, they helped us heal."
The couple, based in Wasaga Beach, Canada, had two children, Jocelyn and Holly, and always had their first child in their hearts.
Years later, Holly, then 10 years old, asked her father, a motorcycle enthusiast, to take a tour through Costa Rica.
The couple decided to make this trip a fundraiser for the CMN and created the Alyssa Rae Johnson Fundto raise funds for children with high priority needs, including at SickKids Hospital.
The fundraising trip, nicknamed "Motorcycle for miracles"It paid off as the duo raised $ 107,000 on their 2013 trip," said Mary, who completed a second round – across Canada – in 2016, raising $ 192,000 for CMN and Hospital SickKids.
But, they have just finished their biggest adventure, the one they call the "The ends of the Earth 2018" ride.
According to a press release, the duo embarked on their 17,400-kilometer journey in early August and traveled from the shores of the Arctic Ocean across 14 countries of North, Central and Central America. South.
They arrived at their last stop, riding on their motorcycle named "Miracle", in Ushuaia, Argentina, the day before the new year.
While the duo could see the world, from top to bottom, during his journey "Motorcycle for miracles", he said that the people met and seen along his journey are the highlights of his adventures.
Holly Johnson poses in front of Cerro Castillo, a summit of Chile, all along their journey.
Bruce Johnson / Motorcycle for miracles
"We met people who have become extremely good friends of ours and will be for the rest of our lives, "said Bruce.
Bruce said that they stopped regularly in hospitals along the way. "It reinforces our desire to make these trips, to finish them strong.When we see kids, we really want to do more, it's really powerful to help other people."
Bruce, RE / MAX Sales Representative, and his family have created the concept of "Champion Agents" to help them achieve their $ 300,000 goal. The "Champion Agents" make a minimum donation of $ 2,000 to the cause.
The "agent champions" as well as the people the duo meets on their travels sign the family's "family flag", auctioned for $ 30,000 and $ 30,100 after their last two trips to CMN. In addition to the flag of this trip, the family plans to sell their motorcycle at auction this year.
Bruce and Holly Johnson pose with their motorcycle.
The family finances the trips themselves. "Every dollar we receive goes to hospitals," said Bruce.
To date, they have raised more than $ 575,000 during their three trips.
"You think that if you lose a child, it will never be a happy day, but we always have happy days with his memories, with what we have created in his name," said Bruce. "We ride every day with her in our heads, there are" Alyssa moments "all the time in our travels."