Local woman named Mud Hero of the month
Airdrie resident, Rhonda Lee MacDonald lost her mother-in-law Marianne on April 5 after learning she had stage-four cancer in late February.
From Marianne’s passing, MacDonald has become a champion fundraiser for the Alberta Cancer Foundation by shaving her head in a fundraising effort in June and participating in the Mud Hero challenge on Aug. 10 and 11.
Mud Hero is a six-kilometre, off-road obstacle course held in Red Deer, incorporating 16 challenges that, not surprisingly, involved mud and getting very dirty.
Mud Hero is a Canadian fundraising event for different charities across the country. The Alberta chapter of the Mud Hero family is in support of the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
Mud Hero’s website describes the event as, “the only rope-swinging, mud-crawling, ramp-running, wall-climbing, tunnel-diving, slide-slipping, net-crossing, tire-tripping, un-freakin’-believable obstacle run of its kind that’s 100 per cent Canadian-owned.”
“It’s really worth it,” MacDonald said of the event. “I had so much fun.”
She was named Mud Hero of the Month for all of Canada for September in part due to her amazing fundraising efforts. She is one of the top fundraisers for the event and has raised more than $1,965 with more donations still coming in.
“I was quite overwhelmed,” MacDonald said of receiving the Mud Hero of the Month title. “I think Marianne would be so impressed.”
“I never thought I’d have this much impact,” she added.
MacDonald started her fundraising campaign with a goal of $500 but that goal soon grew to $2,500 when she decided to add the head-shave event as an extra way to raise funds.
“I know that I’m going to reach my goal even if I’m going to have to do it myself,” she said.
MacDonald, who knew Marianne for 12 years and described her as “like another mom to me,” invited Airdrie City View to her head-shave event in June at the Airdrie Fortis location and said she learned from Marianne’s legacy that you have to live for everyday and take care of yourself.
A video of the MacDonald losing her locks can be found in her Mud Hero of the Month profile at www.mudhero.com
“(Marianne) was probably laughing so hard but she would be proud,” MacDonald said of her participation in the Mud Hero event.
The FortisAlberta employee entered Mud Hero with a team of friends and co-workers and was part of the team named the Mudsketeers. In true hero fashion, MacDonald wore a cape to the event.
She said the first Mud Hero challenge had her sliding down a waterslide into a pool of mud.
“We were literally engulfed in mud. It was so cool,” she said.
She said at one challenge she was able to face her fear of heights when climbing up a rope wall where she froze upon reaching the top.
“I thought, this is nothing compared to what Marianne went through,” she said.
With that thought and a little encouragement from a member of another team she was able to start moving again and made it over the wall and through the challenge.
“It was one-for-all and all-for-one,” she said of the camaraderie at the event. “I can’t wait to do it again.”
It wasn’t all fun and games though as MacDonald said at one point when she was about halfway up a ski hill and gasping for breath.
She said she probably would have sat down and called it quits if it wasn’t for the memory of Marianne.
But in the end MacDonald said, “It’s really worth it. It’s so much fun.”
Residents can donate to Airdrie’s Mud Hero at albertacancer.ca/rhondaleemacdonald