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Trevor Redmond interviews the Fellow in Yellow
Who is the Fellow in Yellow?
It's me, Trevor Redmond
How long have you been doing this?
I have dressed in yellow pants and shirt since July 1st, 2019
Why are you doing this?
Because I can. Because I have the ability too.
What is the cause?
It's the BEcause. Because I can BE myself. BE cause you can BE all of you. Sometimes we face trauma that takes us away from whom we are. We need to support each other to bring us all to where we need BE.
Is this a movement?
It's the Movement for Movement. I want mobility for all.
Are you doing this for charity?
If I have inspired you and you have a charity that supports Health, Mobility and Recovery, and it moves you, by all means donate on behalf of the Fellow in Yellow.
My efforts go to support Health, Mobility and Recovery for EVERYBODY.
I will be investing in programs and events that support this.
I was struck by a vehicle as a teen. I almost lost my leg.
I spent 1 1/2 months in the hospital.
I went through 10 to 12 surgeries.
My cast came off 10 months after the accident.
I had an open wound in my leg for 1 1/2 years.
I understand what it is like to leave your home, family, and school for the medical attention you require. I know the special requirements to attend to these special needs. I know what it is like to have a life interrupted and disrupted.
I know what it means to have support. I understand what it means to have someone help you develop through all that you have to navigate.
"If you reach a child that can remember, you'll have an adult that won't forget".
Why does every step count?
Every step counts. Every step counts.
"Every step that is taken,
is a step towards a cure".
A step towards a cure?
Sure, a cure. Exercise plays a huge role in prevention. A huge role as well in recovering from injury and illness. Exercising the mind, body and spirit with every step that is taken.
I often said on my walk across Canada, "its the least I can do at the most", when I talked about simply walking. Simply challenging myself to take more and more steps.
Exercise is not a magic pill, but it can provide the balanced chemistry to produce better health. Reducing the risk of illness and even beating the odds in overcoming disease.
Even just picking the location you are at, you can exercise and still move, even if its just running on the spot. Look where it may take you.
But you have, other than your leg injury, been healthy?
I, like so many laborers, let myself go. My leg was crippling up into my
mid thirties. Bad neck, bad shoulder, breathing problems. An ear problem.
A car would drive by and the exhaust would cause me to cough and have difficult breathing. I had to wear a dust filter mask just to work in a distribution center, or I would lose days of work.
Almost at least once a month, with breathing issues so bad, I would have to seek medical attention.
Continuous allergies that could put me into emergency, and had.
My health was deteriorating.
I said as a teen, I would not have a belly out over my belt, and here I was at 33 years, with my belly out over my belt.
"When your body is revolting, it's time for a revolution!"
March 2005, just prior to my 34th birthday, I through out my back again.
I said, never again would I lose a days work to the bad back.
I started exercising.
By mid April, I was starting to make plans to take back my life and
re-dreaming a journey across Canada. Yet, I had a lot of health issues I had to try to overcome, and if I could, I would.
By July, I lost 30lbs, and I began doing kilometers, I couldn't have imagined.
I didn't just talk the talk, I walked the walk.
Into October, I walked 49km on a single day, in conditioning myself to step beyond the 26km I wanted to average per day; in the case that I had to make up time due to health issues on the road.
And on March 26, 2006; I walked away from my health problems with the strictest attempt to survive and remain healthy, so I could complete the mission.
And, healthy enough to keep moving to a point of stepping on a bicycle and wheel 150km per day for 3 months.
5 years later, I was taking a First Aid course.
In a wicker basket, the instructor was showing us the tools to assist someone having a bad allergic reaction. These tools could assist someone until medical attention arrived. They could save lives.
He was about to show us all in the course how they were used.
I previously used everything in that wicker basket.
Puffers, injectors, sprayers, inhalers,,
I used them all, but not until then, for over 5 years.
I was free of my allergies for over 5 years, and I haven't used them since.
I was there and I came back. Natural exercise provided that ability.
So, There & Back is more than going across Canada again,
and again and again and even again?
It certainly is about recovery and supporting recovery of others, even if just through inspiration and motivation. A little goes a long way. Even more support can carry someone beyond, almost anything, anywhere.
How long did it take for you
to recover in total?
I am still recovering, but boy, what a recovery!
Well, the short answer. Yellow stands out. A lot.
Be it to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
And, when you want to grab the attention of people, move them toward conversation in asking questions,, a perfect color.
Yellow is also the happiest and friendliest of colors.
Yellow is a smiley color.
As for a longer answer.
Dressing in yellow, at least in part, goes back to September 20th, 2011 and the 25th anniversary of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion world tour.
I took part along with 7 thousand difference makers from all across Canada, dressed in yellow jackets, as we all celebrated along the route Rick took across Canada as he completed his journey around the world 25 years previous. It was a stunning and inspirational experience that would seem impossible to myself, 25 years previous to this event.
Rick became a hero to my young imaginative mind as a teen.
Rick traveled around the entire planet on a wheel chair for inclusion for all and spinal cord injury research. Having almost lost my left leg when I was 15,
just 4 days prior to Rick rolling past my home in Stellarton, NS;
I lay in a hospital bed wondering where he was and what effort he was taking to keep moving.
Waking after my first of many operations, my very first thought was,
"I'm never going to meet Rick".
Laying in doubt after another operation on my leg after doctors said it was possible I would lose it, I thought about what my future would be without my leg. Thoughts of isolation and an uncertain future. So alone seemed my future in this injury. No one I knew around me was disabled in such a way. So, quickly. So, instantaneously.
My 15 year old humbled him self and thought about Terry Fox and what he was able to accomplish after losing his leg.
I then thought of how, if not but a fraction of a second, I could have lost the use of both legs, like Rick.
Or, even less of a fraction of a second or more, I could have lost the use of both my arms and legs. Or, worse.
I thought of this new community I was entering, of people with a disability.
But, I kept my leg, through the tremendous effort of doctors and nurses, friends and family. Yet, through, much at times, welcome pain, I regained far more mobility than what was expected.
Welcome pain, because it meant my leg was still there. A yellow putty they called B.I.P packed into my leg; filling in an open wound for a year and a half, and literally, I had to look into myself right down to the bone, daily.
I followed closely in the wake of the Man in Motion. He set a bar a young
and recovering teen continued to reach for, well into adulthood. Ricks effort in including everyone included me, and this helped me to stand tall and take on incredible challenges, that I may not have achieved otherwise.
Rick continues to be a beacon of light and a great inspiration in my life.
When I set out across Canada, walking 11 421 km, certainly Rick remained in my thoughts then as well, as he did when I lay in the hospital, the effort it took for me to stand and walk, even at times when I felt broken.
I found day after day my ability.
And at times of difficulty, I squeezed tight a Terry Fox dollar coin in my hand for strength as I struggled to walk across this entire nation.
Prior to my walk, I had the opportunity to sit with Fred Fox, Terry's brother.
I talked to Fred about the struggles I had as a teen. Fred talked about his brother and his struggles. Fred talked about Terry's training and how sometimes Rick would join in as Terry trained for his Marathon of Hope.
On the back of a photo I received in the hospital as a teen, I showed Fred of Rick signing autograph's in front of a firehall with the students of my school attending,
Fred wrote, "like Terry, never give up on your dreams".
At 9 years , I never met Terry.
I was sent to school when he ran past my home.
At 15 years, I couldn't meet Rick, as I was in the hospital.
I never truly gave up on that dream. Thank you Fred, for your words.
The Relay 25 years after my accident gave me the opportunity to take part in a small dream I had as a boy and celebrate with many many Canadians the effort to make a difference in the lives of others.
We were given all difference maker metals and bright yellow jackets
I ran past my old home on Foord Street in Stellarton and watched as a family looked out the window at us. I got to take part in the Man in Motion event.
Never, give up on a dream.
You just may be surprised at just where it takes you.
^ Tap above to see the 2011/2012 Relay Pullout ^
The relay event concluded and I never had a chance to talk with Rick as I was previously patiently waiting to get my nieces and nephews close to see him and get autograph's.
As the Rick Hansen team were preparing to leave, Rick rolls up behind me and says.
"You've come pretty far yourself"!
"Not as far as you Rick. In order for me to go as far as you, I would have to run across Canada and back".
Rick said to me, "You Can Do It".
Soon after I thought to myself, if I do, I will keep the relay and dream alive.
I may just wear yellow.
I laughed and thought,
the Fellow in Yellow
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