When Community Care Durham (CCD) Personal Support Worker Sommer Dunard visits clients, she uses her car to travel between appointments.
On Jan. 17, though, the car was not an option as blizzard-like conditions dumped upwards of 55 centimetres of snow all over Durham Region. The snow forced most businesses to close, roadways were undrivable, and most people had to take a snow day.
But Sommer is not most people. Instead of giving up, she strapped on her new cross-country skis and headed out to her appointments. It caught most of her clients off guard.
“They (her clients) were surprised. Some of them were angry because they thought I was risking my life to see them,” she said. “Then they saw my skis.”
Sommer has been with CCD for two years, and she enjoys helping her clients in the Wilmot Creek area. She lives close by, so it’s usually easy to get to her appointments. When Sommer saw the amount of snow that had fallen that day, she knew it was a perfect time to use her skis. Sommer visited all of her eight clients by the end of her shift.
“That was a first for me (using her skis for work). It was fun,” she said.
When Sommer is not working at CCD, she is immersed in her studies at Ontario Tech University, studying nursing. Now in her fourth year, Sommer will graduate in December.
CCD posted a picture on Facebook of Sommer travelling to her appointments through the snow, and it quickly became a popular post. Sommer said it was shared by many of her friends and co-workers in Wilmot Creek and she quickly became known as the Skiing PSW.
Funny enough, Sommer is more of a downhill skier than cross-country. But on that day, under those conditions, her cross-country skis won the day, and Sommer won the hearts of her clients!