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Rain or shine, summer fundraisers must go on

June 5, 2010 — Every summer, Canadians get outside and raise money for great causes - rain or shine. Click on the video to meet an inspiring man who plans to cycle across the country.

If you're looking for a sure sign that summer is right around the corner, the proof might just zip by you. The charity walks, runs and bike rides are kicking into high gear right along with the warm weather.

In Toronto this weekend, two major arteries - the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway - were shut down for the Becel Ride for Heart.

Rain on Sunday didn't stop the 13,000 riders who biked 25, 50 or 75 kilometres to raise money for heart disease and stroke research in one of Canada's largest charity cycling events.

Later this month, a cyclist named Matt Okell will embark on a big journey of his own.

He's planning to bike right across Canada - starting in Tofino, British Columbia, and ending in St. John's, Newfoundland - for a good cause.

Okell is raising funds for research into Parkinson's, a neurodegenerative disease, which his grandfather battles.

Although Okell is hoping for cool temperatures and sunshine, he's prepared to carry on in all weather conditions. He trained through snow and slush in the winter.

'A lot of my training has been in the nastiest of weather,' he says. 'Riding up and down the hills in the torrential rain - that doesn't really bother me.' Spoken like a truly determined man.

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