Mr. Speaker, on a day when we recognize the tremendous contribution of the CNIB, I rise to extend our congratulations to Courage Canada founder, Mark DeMontis.
Raised to never give up, Mark has achieved a great deal in the five years since he was diagnosed with Leber's optic neuropathy. Able to see nothing directly in front of him and only making out shadows and outlines in his periphery, he has never driven a car again or read a book, but he has still found a way to skate.
He joined one of six teams in Canada with blind players, while pursuing his education at the University of Western Ontario. Noticing that blind hockey was only available to a small group of adults, he decided to found Courage Canada to raise awareness of blind hockey.
After gruelling and difficult training, he began a journey across Canada and completed 5,000 kilometres on in-line skates. It took him three months to cross five provinces, and with the help of Lions Clubs and volunteers, he raised $60,000 to support his not-for-profit organization, Courage Canada.
I invite the House to join me in congratulating Mark DeMontis, a great Canadian.