His message is one of conviction "Don’t give up, and follow your dreams." And that is just what 16-year-old Birdtail Sioux First Nation resident Caleb Saulteaux is doing. Caleb began his journey on Wednesday morning July 25th at 6 am when he left his home community and for the next two days ran until he reached the Brandon Regional Health Centre (BRHC) on Thursday around 1 pm, a distance of about 136 kilometres.
His motivation was to help raise awareness for those with diabetes and on dialysis and inspire them never to give up. One of those individuals is his grandmother Myrna Bunn. She has been coming to BRHC three days a week for the past 22 years for her dialysis treatment which takes about three and a half hours each time. Caleb says she is not alone, many in his community and other First Nation communities have diabetes and require dialysis because of kidney failure. His grandfather Aaron McKay helped him organize his run and drove alongside him. Caleb said he also had some running and cycling companions at times showing their support. In addition, people donated money along the way. Caleb took the money he collected and distributed it among patients in Birdtail Sioux coming in for treatment to help with costs.
This isn’t the first time this grade 10 student made the journey he also did the same run back in 2016. His passion for running continues to grow, this year Caleb also took part in the Manitoba Half Marathon and came in second place in his age group. He also tackled the Saskatoon Marathon 10k run placing third in that event. In his community of Birdtail Sioux Caleb says he tries to be a mentor and role model to other youth. As Caleb ran up to the front of the Brandon Regional Health Centre with police escorts beside him, he stopped and shook their hands for their assistance, commenting "One day I want to be a police officer." And that is the dream he is following.