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'It's a continuous journey': North Bay woman does 50 km triathlon for survivors of gender-based violence

A North Bay woman who is a childhood trauma survivor took Trout Lake and Corbeil roads by storm at the crack of dawn Sunday morning, swimming, biking and running in a 50-kilometre triathlon for Amelia Rising Sexual Violence Support Centre.

Chelsea LeBlanc and Tyler Hergott run 10 km in 50 km triathlon for Amelia Rising Sexual Violence Support Centre in North Bay. June 4/23 (Eric Taschner/CTV Northern Ontario)


A survivor of childhood trauma and former Amelia Rising client, Chelsea LeBlanc said she found herself in a difficult relationship and became re-traumatized.

That is when she reached out to the centre for support.

"One of the hardest things was walking through that door and admitting I really needed additional help," LeBlanc said.

"So I needed additional help and because Amelia Rising is specific to sexual violence survivors, it was the best place for me to go. Everybody heals at a different pace and it's a continuous journey."

Through her time accessing services and counselling, she found the services helped her in her healing but found out the centre faced long backlogs that still exist to this day.

"We have a wait list of almost 100 people and that translates to a four to fiv- month wait list," said Amelia Rising Sexual Violence Support Centre public education coordinator Natalie Austin.

"There are a few different areas at our centre that are in need. We are underfunded."

The need is what inspired LeBlanc to start the fundraiser.

"They don't have a lot of money and their supplies were very limited," she said.


This year is her fourth annual 'I Tri For Amelia' triathlon, after starting the fundraiser in 2020 to help other survivors.

To date, LeBlanc has raised more than $5,500 for the centre.

Last year, she completed the 40 km North Bay Triathlon Route.

Pushing off into the cool waters of Trout Lake on Sunday morning with LeBlanc was her friend Tyler Hergott.

Childhood trauma survivor swims 1.5 km in Trout Creek as part of a 50 km I Tri for Amelia fundraiser for the North Bay sexual violence support centre. June 4/23 (Eric Taschner/CTV Northern Ontario)

They are on a mission to help as many gender-based violence survivors as they can.

After a quick lap in the calm waters, LeBlanc and Hergott hopped on their bikes pedaling away before dropping them for the final lap – running a 10 km run completing the length of an Olympic triathlon.

Chelsea LeBlanc cycles 40 km in the I Tri for Amelia, a fundraiser for a local sexual violence support centre in North Bay. June 4/23 (Eric Taschner/CTV Northern Ontario)

As she pushed through the triathlon, LeBlanc said she hoped to inspire other victims to seek the help they need.

"The first step is making that phone call," she said.

Left to right: Tyler Hergott, Chelsea LeBlanc and her partner Eric. June 4/23 (Eric Taschner/CTV Northern Ontario)

To learn more about her fundraiser or to donate, click here. Top Stories


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