Keith Williams is going to be one of the Many in Motion medal bearers next week when the Rick Hansen tour comes through Nelson.

A deeper connection to Hansen relay for Nelson pair

Keith Williams and Jemma Rezansoff will both carry the specially designed medal that is being passed by more than 7,000 Canadians

Two of the participants in next week’s Many in Motion medal relay through the Nelson area intimately understand what it means to feel support in the face of adversity.

Keith Williams and Jemma Rezansoff will both carry the specially designed medal that is being passed by more than 7,000 Canadians as part of the celebration to mark the 25th anniversary of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion tour that crossed the globe for spinal cord research.

Williams was nominated to take part by a couple of soccer players he used to coach. Since he was young, the 34 year old has been an important part of the local sports scene as both an athlete and a coach. He started coaching in Nelson Youth Soccer at 18. Since that time has been a rep coach and for 10 years ran the L.V. Rogers high school program.

“He [Rick Hansen] is a huge figure in growing up,” says Williams. “He showed what a single human being can accomplish.

“It is amazing that I am going to be part of it. I don’t know if it is justified or not, but somebody obviously thinks so.”

What makes Williams’ connection to the community even stronger is his younger brother Jan. In the mid-1990s, the then 12-year-old Jan Williams was diagnosed with leukemia. Only a kid himself, Keith watched as the Nelson community rallied behind the family with an outpouring of support that eventually lead to the formation of Friends of the Family.

When he carries the medal next week, Keith says he will likely think of his brother — who is now healthy and living in Vancouver — and the community support they received at the time.

“There is an obvious connection,” says Williams. “We felt that support from the community when my brother was sick… you want to give back because of experiences like that.”

Fifteen-year-old Rezansoff is also a well known youngster in the community.

Rezansoff has a condition known as double-cortex syndrome, which is rare and causes her to have intractable seizures. In 2010 her family decided to try a type of neuro-surgery, essentially as a last resort to help make her life more comfortable. Like Nelson can, the community offered the family tremendous support.

“It’s very exciting for her to be part of these kinds of community events because we have received so much from this community,” says mom Lisa.

“Without the technologies that have been around in the medical field, Jemma wouldn’t be where she is today either. We have benefitted from research and technology and the work people [like Rick Hansen] have done to make people’s lives better. It’s certainly made Jemma’s life better.”

A vibrant teenager, Jemma attends L.V. Rogers and loves sports. Like all the other participants she is looking forward to next Thursday’s medal relay.

“I’m very excited to run,” Jemma says with a huge smile.

 

Just Posted

Castlegar council set to rule on three retail cannabis proposals

Residents have until Dec. 27 to comment on the business proposals

Nelson Boxing named province’s top club

The club won several awards while going 13-1 at provincials

Nelson council rejects review of mayor’s salary

Mayor Dooley proposed that $10,000 of his pay be put in trust and a review undertaken

Nelson-area man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

West Kootenay highways a mess as heavy snowfall continues

‘Roads are very icy, people have to be patient and have to slow down’

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

B.C. trustee’s anti-LGBTQ comments got him barred from schools

Barry Neufeld calls vote to leave him off liaison list ‘workplace discrimination’

Most Read