Earlier this year, Noah Falk began a two-month hospital stay and 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 are working towards providing the support he needs to move to a community setting, he’s continued running.
St.Amant School teacher Dalip Shekhawat saw how happy Noah was 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 practice the route every Sunday. Dalip ensures Noah has the support to complete the run with no issues. His goal is 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.”
While Noah loves to be fast, nothing makes him happier than seeing people cheering him and others on at the finish line. So, come out and cheer on Noah on Saturday, September 24, as he participates in the 5K run.
Rain or shine, join us in an inclusive environment at the Free the Spirit Festival, that’s bursting with activities for all ages, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
With FREE admission, families can enjoy live music, a petting farm, a market, games, and much more at 440 River Road. Online lottery tickets can be purchased at freethespiritfestival.ca and paper tickets will be available at the Festival, for a chance to win $500, $1,000 and 50% of ticket sales at the end of the event.
Attendees can park for free and treat themselves to a BBQ lunch and snacks after working up an appetite by participating in the 2K Walk or 5K Run. The afternoon features performances from the Teakle Family Circus and music from Adam Kirk.
To make a pledge on Noah’s fundraising page, click here: https://www.gifttool.com/athon/MyFundraisingPage?ID=1727&AID=4248&PID=753020
To register yourself for the 5K run or 2K walk, click here: https://freethespiritfestival.ca/register/