Runner finds unique way to support health care heroes

Give a Shift is a first-of-its-kind virtual fundraising event in support of UHN

32-year-old Trevor Walmsley has been running daily throughout the pandemic. A former avid runner, after an eight year hiatus he got back into running in 2019 and kicked it up a notch in 2020 when COVID-19 forced us all to look for more solitary ways to stay active.

Although Trevor managed to stay healthy living and working in Grimbsy, Ontario with wife Laura and a baby due in June – COVID-19 hit close to home. His Brother-in-Law and best friend Nick’s father passed away early this year from the deadly virus.

“I knew COVID-19 was serious, but this made it part of my reality” says Trevor.

With the pandemic and Nick’s father on his mind, Trevor wanted to do something to help the health care workers who have been on the frontlines since the beginning, risking their own safety to care for their patients.

That’s when he saw an ad in the paper for Give a Shift and decided to put his passion for running towards a good cause.

Laura and Trevor Walmsley

Give a Shift is a first-of-its-kind fundraising event to honour UHN’s health care heroes. Participants will spend 12 hours completing tasks and challenges to give them a glimpse into the life of a health care worker – all in support of UHN.

“I’ve felt stressed about COVID-19” says Trevor. “So I can’t even imagine what health care workers are going through.”

The event takes place April 30 – May 2, and Trevor is challenging himself to run for 12 hours – the length of a typical shift – in memory of Nick’s father and to demonstrate his gratitude for frontline workers at UHN.

He will break the runs up into shorter sessions over the three-day event and Trevor has ramped up his training schedule over the last few weeks, running longer and more often to get his body ready for the challenge.

He is asking for supporters to show their gratitude for health care heroes with a donation to his personal fundraising page.

“I have such love for the city of Toronto and for UHN, and I hope that I can raise money for future research to help the hospitals, and to help frontline staff get through the pandemic.”

A portion of the funds raised through Give a Shift will provide UHN’s frontline staff with complimentary meal vouchers to ensure they are able to care for themselves while caring for others. Trevor’s participation in Give a Shift will directly support the well-being of our health care heroes and hopefully inspire others to do the same.

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