One year ago, a Metis woman in Saskatoon set out to run each day, but she never imagined her personal journey would inspire others.
Shannon Loutitt ran a mile in moccasins for 366 days, one day more due to a leap year, to honour someone that touched her life in a positive way.
She was initially inspired to run after her father and nephew both passed away more than a year ago.
“I felt like I never got the chance to say the things I wanted to say to them. You always think you have more time,” she said.
“I wanted to be able to tell people just how important they are and the impact they made on my life,” Loutitt said in a Facebook video.
Loutitt completed her run on May 23 and since the video was posted, she’s received dozens of messages from followers who were inspired by her journey.
One of the people Loutitt ran for was Sonia Ryan from Fort McMurray.
Ryan’s 15-year-old daughter Emily died in car accident while trying to escape the massive Alberta wild fire.
Loutitt, who went to school with Ryan, said her heart broke when she learned of the tragedy and decided to dedicate that day’s run to her Fort McMurray family.
“When that tragedy happened, I can’t even imagine that and so I did a run to honour her and her family, just sending prayers out.”
Loutitt said she is overwhelmed by the number of wonderful wishes and supporting words she’s received, but a message from Ryan caused her to well up in tears.
The message said Ryan has been inspired to continue Loutitt’s journey by doing something special everyday to keep alive her daughter’s memory.
“I’m still reeling from it,” she said.
“When I did this, I was doing it for my own healing journey. I never ever anticipated the impact it would have on other people.”
Loutitt estimates, in all, she ran for 1,500 people.
Her year-long run was documented in 34 hours of video.
She plans to start a new Facebook page for people to go back and watch all the videos.