This week, local father and police officer Nafis began his five-day journey by bicycle from Queens Park to Ottawa.
Officer Nafis decided to embark on this journey because of his son, who has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy as well Autism. Nafis says that he aims to bring awareness to Autism and reduce the stigma that can surround a variety of special needs.
As a police officer, Nafis has seen a variety of family instances that has made him want to work towards further acceptance of all.
“What I’ve seen is during the calls that I’ve attended, is that there have been a lot of domestics where the husband blames the wife for the children having Autism or it’s the wife blaming the husband,” said Nafis.
Because of what he’s seen, Nafis thinks spreading awareness is incredibly important. He also hopes, though, to raise money for Grandview Kids.
“Even if I gained some money to reduce the wait times, I’m happy with that,” said Nafis. “A child shouldn’t have to wait to get treatment.”
As if riding his bike from Queens Park to Ottawa wasn’t challenging enough, Nafis has also decided to fast during the day.
“It’s the month of Ramadan and I’m a practicing Muslim. What I’ve done is for these five days of the bike ride, to show solidarity to the Muslims… I’m not eating meals during the daylight, but I am drinking fluids to keep hydrated,” said Nafis.
So far, his ride has been a success. He has met a variety of interesting and welcoming people.
“People in the small towns have been incredibly hospitable. They’ve offered for me to use their place to rest, or grab a meal or drink and always checked up on me to make sure I was okay whenever I stopped on my bike just to take a break,” said Nafis. “Canadians have been really hospitable, as they always are.”
As of May 25th, Officer Nafis reached his final destination: Ottawa! Thanks for all your hard work, Nafis!
To support Nafis on his ride in support of Grandview Kids – visit his fundraising page.