My name is Peter Marshall. I grew up and currently live in North Vancouver, BC. I’ve always been an active and athletic person. I grew up as a competitive swimmer and competed at a national level throughout high school. I ended up heading south to the University of Southern California to test my mettle against the best in the world. Several of my teammates were Olympians including a couple gold medalists and world record holders. I had limited success here but learned a lot from being a student athlete at an elite level American university.
After returning from school I came back home to Vancouver and rekindled my love of the mountains. I started to work as a ski patroller on one of the local ski hills. This led to my current employment as an avalanche forecaster for the Canadian Avalanche Centre. Through this position I have been able to travel to and experience some of the most beautiful backcountry areas imaginable.
In 2004 I embarked on my first fundraising adventure. I cycled 7000 km across southern Canada with a friend to raise money for a school that teaches students with Dyslexia. We managed to complete the trip in just over 2 months and raised approximately $16,000. Since then, I have been very active in endurance sports like road cycling and triathlon. In 2008 I raced against my 2 younger brothers in Ironman Canada and managed to win a bronze medal in the Marshall family category.
In 2010, at age 31, I was diagnosed with a rare disease called Wegener’s Granulomatosis (or granulomatosis with polyangiitis). This is an autoimmune disease and a form of vasculitis where the body attacks the small blood vessels of the lungs, upper airways, and kidneys. In my case it primarily attacked my upper airways and lungs. This disease struck me hardest during my honeymoon in Hawaii and within weeks of returning I found myself in the intensive care unit at a Vancouver city hospital. There is no cure for this disease but after almost 2 years of treatment, which included chemotherapy and corticosteroids, I found myself feeling almost normal again. I attribute my current stable remission to recent improvements in the treatment of this disease. I will never have the lung capacity I had before diagnosis, but I’m committed to prove that I can still reach my physical goals.