When a Toronto man embarked on an astonishing iceskating marathon to raise money for Alzheimer’s research, he received a major contribution from one of his favorite bands.
Every year since 2012, hockey referee Steve McNeil has held iceskating campaigns to raise money for various charities dedicated to researching and treating dementia.
For the last four years, the ref has been exclusively playing AC/DC music for the events as a means of honoring the late Malcolm Young who was diagnosed with dementia in 2014. Though the guitarist passed away from the disease in 2017, McNeil still insists on playing his favorite band over the loudspeakers every year.
Earlier this week, McNeil continued his annual tradition by skating for 19 hours and 26 minutes straight at a rink in Alberta.
As he was skating to the rock and roll band, he was approached by a man who commended him for his initiative.
“A gentleman was standing there, as I skated towards him, he shook my hand and he says ‘I saw you on the news last night and I had to call my dad and tell him,’” McNeil told CTV News. “I shook his hand and said, ‘It’s too bad – is your dad battling Alzheimer’s?’ And he said, ‘No, my dad is the drummer from AC/DC.’”
McNeil was stunned; he is often approached by fans and well-wishers during his marathons, but he never expected to meet a relative of his favorite band.
“My jaw dropped, and my world was changed,” McNeil said. “It was a dream come true.”
AC/DC’s drummer Chris Slade later video chatted with McNeil and praised him for his initiative. Two days later, McNeil was contacted by the band’s management team saying that guitarist Angus Young, who is Malcolm Young’s surviving brother, wanted to donate $19,260 to the cause in honor of McNeil’s tribute.
McNeil has expressed his overwhelming gratitude for Angus’s donation, and he hopes that the contribution will help to raise even more awareness for Alzheimer’s research around the world.
McNeil’s fundraising campaign will continue to accept donations until June 30th.
(WATCH the news coverage below) – Photo by Florez007, CC
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