It’s my pleasure to nominate a Halton Regional Police Civilian member for the Police Hero Honour Roll Award. Mike Duhacek has been a proud member of the Halton Regional Police Service for 25 years. He is the acting Facilities Manager and founder of www.helpmeburycancer.com, the author of One Foot in Front of the Other and the Canadian Ambassador of Cops for Cancer. He embarked on a walk of over 1,000,000 steps across the province of Ontario, from Windsor to Ottawa, in the coldest month of the year, in February 2013. He pulled a 125-pound sled behind him with the word CANCER to raise awareness and funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. Mike took more than 10 steps for every Canadian who would die from cancer that year. Mike and his RV support vehicle were led across our province by all the police services along the way.
Mike has done countless speaking engagements at schools, corporate functions and Cancer Society events to share his story. He published a book, One Foot in Front of the Other, The Journey of a Million Steps. This book can offer hope and comfort to those who need it, and with each copy sold, profits go back to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Mike has organized and coordinated annual head shave campaigns and created, led and coordinated Movement Challenge Events where he has run an ultra and multiple marathons supporting his team and the Cops for Cancer movement.
In 2023, Mike created the Double Up Event to promote hope and raise funds and awareness for people (and their families) battling cancer. Mike did this walk as a tenth-anniversary tribute to his 2013 walk. The Double Up Event walk started on February 4th, 2023, World Cancer Day, in Owen Sound, when it was -28 with the wind chill. He began pulling a 212lb snowmobile sled behind him, with the word CANCER carved from a Canadian pine tree. He pulled this weight over 208kms led by police escorts to the Halton Regional Police Headquarters in Oakville, where he buried cancer into the frozen ground. This walk took a toll on Mike’s body, but not his spirit, as not long after he finished, he created and began to plan his next fundraiser for this past August, where he led a team called C4C and Friends for thirty-one days in which he ran 31 half marathons.
Mike had conversations on the side of the road on his last sled pull, where he consoled mothers who have lost children, children who have cancer, and children who have lost their parents to this terrible disease. He was brought to piggy banks by children and had schools following him along the way. School kids would write his website saying they were inspired and wanted to help others too, and another said she would find a cure for cancer when she’s older. Teachers use Mike’s story as a teaching tool in their classrooms.
Mike is a loving husband and father of three. Over the last decade, he’s noted as not slowing down. He dedicates countless hours week after week volunteering, creating and planning, training and participating in events to help others the best he can. He is building a new Podcast, The Help Me Bury Cancer Initiative, where perseverance and compassion collide – where he can share inspirational stories from fellow Ontarians he met over the last decade. Mike spreads great awareness, promotes the powerful word of hope, and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer.
It’s my pleasure to nominate Mike Duhacek for this award.