About four years ago former Vernon Viper Aaron Volpatti was on a father-son trip while playing professional hockey.
Volpatti was boarding a plane when he noticed his father Tony had trouble lifting a suitcase into the overhead bin.
“We shared a laugh and attributed it to old age, but as the year went on things like this were happening more often,” said Volpatti, who now resides in Coldstream.
“Ultimately he was diagnosed with ALS.”
To raise funds and awareness for the disease, Volpatti will be competing in Ironman Canada on July 28.
Earlier this year he reached out to the ALS Society of BC to share his triathlon idea.
“Right away, people started asking me questions,” he said. “’Can you swim?’ Not really, I sink like a rock. ‘Have you ever been on a road bike?’ Nope. ‘Do you run?’ No, I spent the first 30 years of my life on skates.”
However, he said the challenge of competing in an unfamiliar athletic contest is what attracted him to the idea in the first place.
”While the challenge will be nothing like my dad’s battle, it will be a great way to promote awareness,” he said.
Volpatti said he hopes to raise a total of $25,000 by the event day. So far he has raised over $17,000.
“This fundraising will continue to support ALS patients and their families, provide funds for services and research, and create public awareness of ALS,” he said.
To make a donation, visit alsbc.ca/ironman-for-als/.