Mobilize March -- Travel Blog

Day 27 — Bring on the road

The night before hitting the road again. I’m a bit nervous; the driving had gotten so automatic earlier in the trip, but it’s been two weeks since I’ve driven for an extended period of time. Hopefully my shoulder doesn’t get too raw! To make matters worst, it’s suppose to rain again tomorrow and I’ve finally given up trying to look cool wrapped in a giant orange poncho.
I woke up to good news this morning–Natalie must have heard all the well wishes because she woke up this morning on the road to recovery. Apparently she is getting fluids in her again and is home resting comfortably. Keep resting Nat, we’ll be thinking about you tomorrow on the road!

The rest of the day was dedicated to resting up and editing the video blog. You can see what we’ve been up to over the past two weeks at:

Now that I’ve crossed the halfway point of the trip I suppose there is value in looking back and evaluate how things have been going as a whole. Thus far I’ve been really happy with how things are going: we’ve put a lot of road behind us, we’ve overcome any adversity we’ve faced, and we’ve made a lot of great allies along the way. While the trip has been physically harder than I expected, progress has come quite readily. The trip began with lots of great media coverage, but now that we’re into the middle of the trip the attention has really dried up (something we expected to happen). At the same time, as the media stopped paying attention, the politicos came flocking. Once we got to Toronto, the stars really aligned for us and I had the opportunity to meet up and broach the transportation issue with some really crucial people. From these meetings I’ve been given a renewed focus on what needs to be done and I’m developing some strategies on how to enact my future plans.

My time on the road so far has been very special. Driving from city to city has given me a chance to think clearly and pragmatically about the issue of transportation and meeting individuals with disabilities and their families along the way has fueled me to continue pushing for change. Before stepping across that breach, into the abyss of the second half of this trip, I am filled with optimism and hope. Soon I will be crossing the city limits of Ottawa and even sooner individuals with disabilities across this province will enjoy the same access to transportation as everyone else.

And what a beautiful day it will be.

So tomorrow we head to Oshawa and once again it looks like we’ll be traveling in the rain. Oh well, Kathy (Natalie’s aunt) will be along for the ride and I’m sure she’d prefer a bit of rain rather than scorching sunshine as she jogs along with me. Having said that, it’ll be tough to impress her with my big orange poncho: she may want to run on the other side of the road. As much as I enjoy the solitude of driving along the open road alone, it is going to be really nice to have a companion out there with me. It’s always nice to know you’re not alone, something so many of you have reminded me of with your passionate and kind emails and comments on this blog. Thank you to everyone for all of your support! I’m doing everything I can to make things better and I promise I won’t let any of you down!

– Jeff

By Jeffrey Preston

Born with a rare neuromuscular myopathy, Jeff has spent his life dedicated to advocating for himself and others with disabilities. With a PhD in Media Studies from Western University, Jeff's research focuses on the representation of disability in popular and digital culture. Jeff is currently an Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at King's University College @ Western University in London, ON.