CONSTANCE BAY – It will be a different dravet walk in Constance Bay this year – for one, you don’t have to be in Constance Bay to participate.

For eight years the McKnight family has organized the Annual Dravet Syndrome Walk in Constance Bay and have raised an incredible $420,000 for Dravet Syndrome Research. They weren’t going to let a global pandemic get in the way of such an important fundraiser.

But they are going to be wary of it.

“With physical distancing being the reality for the foreseeable future, we have had to adapt to the new normal during these uncertain times,” organizers released in a statement. “Being physically apart won’t stop us from coming together this year. We would love to invite all dravet families from coast-to-coast to sign up for our national virtual event, create a team in honour of your dravet child, fundraise and join us on Sept. 12, where you and your family can walk locally in your neighbourhood.”

So, the ninth annual event will look a little different. For one, it will be a virtual walk. There will also be an online auction; a raffle; and a live balloon release.

“Change can be a challenge, and we have seen a lot of changes during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Mandy McKnight said. “We are taking every precaution to keep our friends and family safe and healthy. This year our event is virtual, and we encourage everyone to register on-line, as there will be no ‘physical event’ to accept registrations on walk day like we have in the past. In addition, we will not be providing off-line donation forms to collect cash donations.”

Funds will be raised through online registration and donations.

“The cost to register this year is $20 for each participant and free for anyone with dravet syndrome/epilepsy,” Mandy and her husband Dave released in a statement. “You are encouraged to create a team, join a team or register as an individual or a family and start spreading the word and most importantly raising awareness. As always, thank you for your support.”

As of Sept. 9, 182 participants have registered and $23,909 has been raised.

If you would like to support the ninth annual Dravet Syndrome Walk or make a donation, visit their website here.