Noah’s Story

When Noah Falk began a two-month hospital stay, it seemed unlikely he would be where he is now: training for the 5K Run at the Free the Spirit Festival.

After leaving the hospital, he moved in for a temporary stay at St.Amant’s stabilization unit as his health challenges had been causing his behaviour to change. While staff worked towards providing the support he needed to move to a community setting, Noah continued to train in running.

St.Amant School teacher Dalip Shekhawat saw how happy Noah was while running in the Buhler Gardens one day. He asked if Noah would be interested in running the 5K at the Festival.

“I wanted to give Noah an opportunity to excel at something he loves,” said Dalip, a marathon runner who climbed Mount Everest.

Since then, Dalip and Noah began practicing the route every Sunday. Dalip ensured Noah would have all the support needed to complete the run. His goal was to strengthen Noah’s skills as a long-distance runner.

“Noah has always loved running. When he was younger, he would run away from us,” laughed Noah’s mom Kalyn Falk. “When Noah was about age 11, he was part of a running club. Suddenly it was this thing that he was good at that was no longer a source of danger. It was a source of pride and of team building. He had been running with a club until the pandemic started and had to stop.”

Noah’s love for running during his teenage years inspired Kalyn to pick it up. She and Noah look forward to enjoying the rest of the Festival festivities with their family.

“He has a lot of joy when he runs,” beamed Kalyn. “It is just lovely that this has come back into his life.”