Mathew Fee Jr., a graduate of the John Volken Academy (JVA), Canada’s Therapeutic Community Recovery Centre, is celebrating his recovery from addiction and the new start in his life as an active member of society by riding a beloved single-speed BMX bike across Canada from Halifax, NS to Victoria, BC.
He is expected to arrive in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario on Sunday, July 13 and is scheduled to resume his westbound ride on Monday, July 15. Mathew Fee Jr. (Mat) is a recovered addict who will be setting a world record for the World’s Longest BMX ride across Canada.
He will ride across Canada on a single-speed BMX road-bike over, approximately, 143 days and 6,200 km – quite literally from sea to sea. He started in Halifax, Nova Scotia in early May and expects to reach the finish line in Victoria, British Columbia in mid-October. He is attempting this feat to raise awareness for addiction and tell the story of how the John Volken Academy saved and changed his life.
“I should have been dead a few times. After failing at seven treatment centres, I found my recovery at the John Volken Academy, a long-term program that works. It literally saved my life. After achieving sobriety, I am excited about life and to be able to live my dream.” Mathew Fee (Mat) was lost early on his journey in life due to various unfortunate circumstances and found himself abused and seeking solace in drugs and hard living. Having reached an impasse in his life, his mother learned about the unique program at the John Volken Academy and how this residential program has successfully turned around young lives and set their graduates on a new life trajectory as contributing members of society.
Through his participation in the JVA long-term residential and life-skills building programs – Mat has reclaimed his life, self-respect and purpose in life. In celebration, he wants to realize his life dream to ride across Canada on a one-speed off-road sports BMX bike and, in so doing, inspire, give hope and to encourage current and future John Volken Academy students to follow his path and restart a new life drug free and build a future, just as the John Volken Academy helped Mat to do.
Now Mat wants to pay forward and to recognize his new lease on life – in the hope that others will follow in his footsteps – by making a Trans-Canada bike trip from Halifax to Victoria all under his own pedal power on a classic BMX bike. This story showcases how a positive and supportive approach for those struggling with addiction can have dramatic results within a long-term, residential community to restart and rebuild their lives in a structured program that helps residents to rebuild skills, confidence, surrounded by positive role models and supportive advisors and advocates.
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