When Tim Walters set out on a 160 kilometre trek, he hoped to raise around $4,000.
But by the time the Okanagan College English professor was done, he had raised $12,000 for former student Gary Baker who suffered a massive brain aneurysm Aug 1.
Walters, who teaches at the Salmon Arm campus, had a target of $3,600 to help the Enderby family deal with the financial strain of Gary's recovery.
A Go Fund Me page was set up and donations far surpassed the goal Walters had set.
To raise money, Walters walked from Penticton to Salmon Arm, stopping at OC campuses along the way.
“Thank you so much Tim and the entire OC community. Gary and I have always boasted about how exceptional the college was...I am so proud to be known as an OC alumni,” said Erica Baker, Gary's wife.
Gary has been in hospital in Vancouver tenuously struggling towards recovery since the aneurysm.
Erica and her four children have taken up residence in Vancouver to assist Gary in his recovery, but finances are tight — especially because Erica and Gary had both recently returned to university to pursue new careers. Erica said the money raised by Walters’ walk — combined with funds raised by other campaigns and events — will help the family cope with basic expenses.
“This money allows us to have a little extra breathing room during a time when finances are the last thing I want to be focusing on,” she said.
Walters completed the marathon walk in three days.
“I learned that I love to walk, like really love to walk, but I already knew that, and I got to deepen my sense that we live in a hypnotically beautiful part of the world,” he said. “I spent a lot of time thinking about how, despite appearances to the contrary, our seemingly sturdy bodies are a good deal more fragile and our well assembled lives a lot more precarious than they appear.
“The reality is that none of this could have happened had I not been surrounded by remarkably kind people who were positively eager to volunteer their time and energy.”