Bryce and Terah Stetchman are raising awareness for those waiting for medical treatment and/or suffering from an undiagnosed disease. Terah has been struggling with a mysterious ailment for three years. (Nora O’Malley / Westerly News)

Unique ‘Bear the Wait’ campaign sheds light on medical wait times

“I didn’t know what else to do.”

Dressed in a scene-stealing orange camouflage kilt and custom-made purple T-shirt, Bryce Stetchman hoists a 142-pound stone over his shoulder and takes a step forward.

Slowly, he takes another step. And another. And another.

By the end of 2017, Dec. 31, Bryce will have walked every street in the village of Tofino while carrying this special stone that weighs the same as his wife, Terah, did when she was at her ‘healthy weight’.

For the last three years, Terah has been silently suffering from an immune related disease, which started with a rash around her eye area that quickly spread to her whole body.

Now, it’s gotten so bad that there are days when she can’t even walk because her legs feel numb and heavy. And even after over 30 clinic appointments, including seeing a handful of specialists, Terah doesn’t know what’s wrong with her.

“I don’t have a definitive diagnosis yet and it’s taken three years for them to come up with one idea,” she said.

Out of sheer frustration and hopelessness, her husband of 20 years launched ‘Bear the Wait,’ a unique campaign to raise awareness for those suffering from an undiagnosed disease and waiting for medical treatment.

“I didn’t know what else to do. I’ve gone with her to every appointment that I can. I’ve helped her with the research. We’ve been through everything together and we’re not getting anywhere,” said Bryce.

“As a provider, as a husband and father, as a man, I don’t feel adequate enough. I don’t feel like I’m doing it. When I carry that rock around town, and I share our story, and we get support for Terah, it feels like I’m finally doing something,” he said.

Terah was touched by his creative efforts.

“It felt finally like I could breath and not hide anymore,” she said. “That was the whole point of this too, it’s not just me, there are a lot of families out there that are like us.”

Bryce and Terah hope their campaign will bring together more people that are waiting in frustration for answers to their health problems.

Anyone interested in learning more can visit the Facebook Page ‘Bear the Wait.’

“We’re waiting to find out where to start,” said Bryce. “That’s why I started this different kind of campaign. It’s the wait time. The wait doesn’t go away.”

On New Year’s Day at 3p.m., Bryce will be at Tonquin Beach lifting heavy rocks from 110-pounds to 260-pounds for the Battle of the Se7en Stones. The Highland Games inspired event is a fundraiser for Terah’s medical expenses.

Tofino General HospitalTofino,

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Tofino considers beach fire ban after tumultuous summer

“It’s a juggling act, constantly.”

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Vancouver Island Indigenous leaders supportive of B.C.’s new plan for old forest preservation

More than 260,000 hectares in Clayoquot Sound mapped for immediate old growth harvesting deferral

HISTORY COLUMN: Reflecting on the 32nd anniversary of Canada’s apology to Japanese-Canadians

Japanese-Canadians an integral part of Tofino and Ucluelet’s history.

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Most Read