The mayor of Oshawa says, for all challenges in his life, he was put on this earth and "created (by God) for something really special."
Dan Carter was the guest speaker at the Children's Treatment Centre Bike-A-Thon Plus Kickoff Breakfast on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at the Cornwall Civic Complex.
Carter recounted his challenges, such as being undiagnosed for years with dyslexia and surviving rape at 8 years old while he was delivering newspapers - an experience he kept bottled up for 23 years while turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with everything.
Carter also lost his brother in a motorcycle accident and his sister to suicide.
Carter's sister, Maureen, had helped him seek treatment for his drug and alcohol abuse. "It devastated me. I was nine years sober. I never picked up a drink or a drug. She saved my life because she believed that the greatness lived within me. She knew that I would do something great in my life. She saw things in me that I never saw."
Carter turned his life around, including being elected the mayor of Oshawa last fall.
"I truly believe that the role that I am in now...is to be able to conduct myself in a way that will make people proud to say that's what public service looks like."
Carter says the work the Children's Treatment Centre does is important.
"The work that it does can change lives...brings light to darkness that most individuals don't understand the impact that it will have at the roots that are planted when we give and treat and support and love and show kindness and compassion and understanding, changes people's lives forever. That's what treatment can do and that's how it can change someone's life," he said.
The CTC has introduced two new partnerships this year to boost fundraising.
There will be a vehicle raffle, which is expected to net $25,000. Ottawa Senators interim coach Marc Crawford will also be a cyclist in the upcoming Bike-A-Thon Plus on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at St. Lawrence College.