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.

Just Posted

Tofino opens B.C’s first-ever Express & Go recycling station

New unstaffed facility allows residents to drop-off pre-bagged recyclables without sorting them.

New RCMP detachment officially opens in Tofino

“This is a great facility and I think all of you here should be proud of it.”

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

Tofino’s West Coast Winter Music series warms hearts

Kicking off their 20th anniversary celebration is Pablo Cardenas’ Trio on Nov. 2.

Ucluelet’s Edge-to-Edge Marathon turns 20 this weekend

Over 400 runners get set for half-marathon or 10K distances.

Environment Canada issues gale warnings for western Vancouver Island

Gale warnings in effect for most of Vancouver Island and west coast Mainland

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Most Read