For many, the last few months have been difficult. From wearing a mask in public to establishing our social circles, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we all think and carry out everyday tasks.

Although it’s been a tough adjustment, many people have taken advantage of the opportunity to spend more quality time with family, brush up on old hobbies and set new goals for themselves, just like Dr. Steph Marquette from Cassells Animal Hospital in North Bay, Ont.

To make the most out of the situation, Dr. Marquette decided to challenge herself to cycle 1,000 km in one month.

“In July, I decided I needed to do something for my mental and physical health to cope with the stress of COVID,” says Dr. Marquette. “I’ve always been a cyclist, as well as a very goal-oriented person, so I figured 1,000 km would be a suitable challenge for me.”

Dr. Marquette set out on her journey, cycling almost every day while proudly sporting her past Ride for Farley jerseys. By the end of the month, she had surpassed her initial goal by riding a total of 1,112 km.

“When I first started the ride, it was all about me,” says Dr. Marquette. “However, as I continued through the month, I realized I could be doing more – that’s when I reached out to the Farley Foundation and let them know I’d be donating $1 for each kilometre I rode.”

Giving back to help people and pets

As an avid supporter of the foundation, Dr. Marquette understands the impact the Farley Foundation has on the lives of countless Ontario families. With many pet owners resorting to government assistance to make ends meet during the pandemic, it’s never been more important to provide aid to individuals with pets in need of veterinary care.

“The Farley Foundation provides an avenue to save a pet’s life when financial limitations are presented,” says Dr. Marquette. “In a world of gloom and doom, it feels really spectacular to tell a client, ‘We’ve got this’.”

Between participating in the annual Summit Veterinary Ride for Farley for 12 years and raising money for the foundation through her clinic, Dr. Marquette continues to find ways to give back to the foundation.

“As veterinary professionals, it’s important that we do our part to ensure our community has access to resources like the Farley Foundation,” says Dr. Marquette. “That involves giving back to the foundation so it can continue helping those in need.”

In addition to supporting a cause that she’s passionate about, Dr. Marquette’s 1,000 km ride provided her with experiences that she’ll never forget, including catching a bright red morning sun rising over the lake and cycling three hours in non-stop rain to meet with friends.

This year, the Farley Foundation is encouraging the community to get active while giving back, like Dr. Marquette. With the pandemic causing numerous job cutbacks, many individuals are forced to make difficult financial decisions, including whether they should get their sick pet help.

On Sept. 12, for the first time ever, the Farley Foundation’s annual Summit Veterinary Pharmacy Ride for Farley will be held from the comfort of your own home and community. This year’s event welcomes participants of all ages to exercise however they choose. Whether you’re interested in biking, walking, swimming or spinning, you can get active to help people and pets in Ontario. With no minimum donation amount, registration fee or distance requirements, it’s easier than ever to participate.

For more information about the event and to register, visit