Frank Sapach is cycling across Canada with his five-year-old German Shepherd Samantha safely in a trailer attached to his bike to raise awareness for elderly people who are victims of medical abuse.
Sapach, almost 70-years-old, started his journey from his home on Haida Gwaii and is heading to Prince George along Highway 16 to register a complaint against a doctor he says has neglected his need for pain medication. From Prince George, Sapach will continue on his journey eastward along Canada’s highways.
Sapach, who has arthritis and has had prostate cancer, said he was on pain medication, including morphine, for more than 10 years until a doctor prescribed anti-depressants instead. He said side effects left him with headaches, ringing in his ears and suicidal thoughts.
“I don’t think it was right for the doctor to take away the medicine I was on,” he says.
Aside from Northern Health, Sapach also wants to speak to provincial health minister Adrian Dix.
“My doctor is supposed to improve my quality of life not make it worse, ” he says. “How will you treat a patient if you don’t believe him? You got to listen to the patient.”
Sapach said he is also doing this to highlight what he calls multiple complaints about health services in the north.
“If I die on the highway, I would have died for a cause,” he said.
This is not the first time Sapach has been on the road for a cause. In 2013, he and another dog, Shiela, undertook ‘Barking across Canada’ to raise awareness for abused and homeless pets.