By Darcy Gross
appeared in print on June 2014
A man is cycling across Canada to raise funds and awareness for a medical condition many people know all too well.
Daniel Fugere is cycling across Canada to raise awareness and funds for people who suffer from chronic pain and made a stop in Melville June 13.
Fugere, from Montreal, says chronic pain is not widely discussed in the medical field is not very well recognized by the media by social institutions or by the general public and since it is his father’s field in medicine, he’s learned a lot about the different ways chronic pain can manifest itself and be treated.
“The worst thing for people who suffer chronic pain is a lot of times they end up losing their job,” explained Fugere in an interview with The Advance. “They may be productive workers, but they can’t be there all the time because of the pain issue. What came out of the many discussions my father has had with chronic pain patients is the worst part is to be left out by society and to be left out by your employer because you can’t do your job.”
For many sufferers of chronic pain, the only reprieve is pain medication but there are other avenues for people to help curb the aches.
“A lot of times, people will struggle with pain for many years,” Fugere added. “Keeping your mind occupied is a big part of it and losing your job takes one more thing away from you and something that could take your mind off the pain is also gone.”
As well, Fugere suggests through his father’s research, being idle is one of the worst things for people who suffer from chronic pain and not being able to hold down a job can make that sword double-edged to some degree.
“Chronic pain has a lot of different dimensions. A lot of researchers have discovered movement is very important, so working is very important,” added Fugere who says seeing a physician who specializes in chronic pain could be a long road for patients.
“My father said, in many cases, people had to wait two to five years to see him,” Fugere added. “Your family doctor, in many cases, all he can do is write a prescription because he isn’t a specialist.”
Fugere’s cycling campaign will serve two purposes: one, to appreciate and experience Canada’s beauty from coast to coast and to raise awareness of and money for those who suffer from debilitating pain.
He departed from Halifax in early May, and is expecting to arrive in Vancouver June 30.
Funds raised will go to programs and research by the Canadian Pain Coalition and Fugere says he’s set a goal of $10,000 and is already over halfway there.
For the most part, Fugere has only faced a few obstacles with his trip and has also been joined by riders from different centres as he heads west.
“From Yorkton to Melville we rode with members of the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association, so that was very nice. We’ve had a few problems with the bike along the way, but so far, nothing too major,” said Fugere.