Our Heroes - Rachel and Stacey

Rachel and Stacy “Ran Antarctica for Open Doors”

Read more to find out why they are our heroes.


When Rachel is not working as a physiotherapist in Thunder Bay, Ontario she can often be found out in the country running around with a pack of sled dogs. She enjoys travelling and is always up for an adventure of any kind! This meant it was not hard for Stacey to convince Rachel that she should join her in a half marathon in Antarctica. Rachel spent time volunteering at Open Doors in 2008 and 2012 and hopes to return someday.


Stacey hails from the country side of Thunder Bay, Ontario but now resides in Edmonton, Alberta. It is her goal to do a half marathon on each continent. So far Stacey has conquered North America, Australia, and Asia. She has had two spots reserved on the Antarctica marathon for a few years and 2016 is finally the year it is going to happen! Stacey volunteered at Open Doors in 2006 and 2010 and also hopes to return.

Here is what Rachel and Stacey wrote on their website on …

In March 2016 Rachel Rauwerda and Stacey Collie will make their way to Antarctica (the coldest/windiest place ON EARTH). Once they arrive they will embark on a half marathon in support of Open Doors school in Jos, Nigeria. Rachel and Stacey, along with all the students at Open Doors are inviting you to be a part of this adventure through your prayers, encouragements and financial support! All money raised will go directly to Open Doors. Have a look around the website to learn more about this great school, Rachel and Stacey, and how to give your support. You can also follow along Rachel and Stacey's training efforts and race on the blog.

Here is what they wrote on 4/3/ 2016 after they returned:

"This is Amazing"

We want to thank each and everyone of you who have contributed to our trip in so many ways. Yesterday was a busy day of organizing and packing as I had to leave the house around 5:40am this morning. When I finally went to check the donations to see if we would be running the full or the half I was shocked to see that not only did we reach the goal of $10,000 but we smashed the goal!! We are currently sitting at $13,005!! Bring on the FULL marathon!! (Full disclosure: When we set this goal we did not AT ALL expect to even come close to it. We never even played with the idea that we would have to run the full marathon)! We are so thankful for each and every one of you that have donated. Because of you Open Doors is going to receive such a wonderful gift. What a blessing! Thank you! We especially want to acknowledge a few people who donated $500 and got to choose something for us to do. These people were actually (for the most part) really nice to us! I expected them to be a lot meaner.

  • Henry and Jenny’s grandchildren: A polar bear dip
  • Stephanie and Chad: Bring pictures of them with us and take pictures with
  • Jacquelyn: To have a good time
  • Matt and Heather: To eat the grossest thing we can find
  • Betty: Have Stacey come for dinner and tell them about the trip
  • Christopher and Hennie: To be safe
  • James and Inez: To cook dinner for them next time we are both in Thunder Bay
  • Derrick and Peggy: To come home safe

On my flight from Edmonton this morning, the little girl next to me was trying so hard to look out the window she was practically sitting on my lap. As we started taxiing to the runway she whispered in my ear, “Here we go.” I was exhausted and thought, “ya, here we go. 25 hours of planes and airports.” Only my “here we go” was a lot more negative than hers. Once we were above the clouds she looked at me with a twinkle in her eye that only a 3 year old can have and said, “This is… amazing!” And that little girl, she was right! This is amazing! Everything about this trip is amazing! The incredible people that Rachel and I have in our lives that generously donated their hard earned money to a school that means so much to us, encouraged us, “liked” and “shared” our Facebook posts. This journey would not be happening without you having our back the whole way. There have been a few different times over the past couple months where I have felt overwhelmed with love and support. This moment somehow brought it all together. When I am sitting on the boat covered in motion sickness patches and still feeling rough I will need to remember the twinkle in this little girl’s eye and think “THIS IS AMAZING!”

With the funds Rachel and Stacey raised for open Doors we were able to purchase two new laptops, dig a borehole, build wheelchair ramps, build a storage cupboard in the speech therapy room, install a fish pond and start raising fish, as well as pay off some accumulated debts.