No Guts, No Glory | Canoeroots Magazine | Rapid Media
No Guts, No Glory Photo: Courtesy Rich Swift

Canoe team takes on the Muskoka River X challenge to raise money for children with ostomies


This year’s Muskoka River X challenge will feature two new participants who are raising money to send kids with ostomies to camp.

The 130-kilometere single-day expedition race includes 20 portages and involves grueling night navigation and paddling.

Jim Fitzgerald and Jason Boyd of Ostomy Toronto, a non-profit charity, have signed up for the Muskoka River X to raise awareness about the medical condition and raise funds to send 20 kids with ostomies, or similar urinary or bowel diversions, to camp.

“Every child has the right to go to a camp where they can play with their peers, without the fear of embarrassment or being made fun of,” says Boyd. “Many of these children have gone through sometimes multiple surgeries and their parents have missed time from work, or even quit their job to care for their child, and so the cost of sending a child to camp can be overwhelming.”

Their goal is to raise $25,000, which will send about 20 kids to UOAC Ostomy Youth Camp in Bragg Creek, Alberta, a full service camp that offers paddlesports as part of its programming.

“It’s a life-altering surgery with a negative stigma,” says Boyd.

Both teammates have ostomies and decided a great way to raise funds and awareness would be through competing in this adventurous challenge themselves. They named their team No Guts, No Glory. “One of the perceptions is that this is a condition for old men in a nursing home in a wheelchair,” says Boyd. “We’re working to change that.”


Fitzgerald, who us an avid kayaker and canoeist, talked Boyd into forming a team after hearing about the race from a 2013 participant.  Boyd hasn’t been in a canoe since he was a 16-year-old camper and has started a fitness plan to prepare.

“One of the reasons we’re doing this is for awareness. We see so many people that say they can’t do this or can’t do that,” says Fitzgerald. “It’s true that I’m medically disabled, but I can still be active—I might not be able to win but I can still compete, and that’s the important thing for me.”

Find out more about this cause and donate here or visit their Facebook page.

See Canoeroots' Spring 2014 feature story on the Muskoka River X here


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