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Dave Murphy has had his fair share of challenges in life, but he has never let them define him. In 1994, he was brutally stabbed 13 times while living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The severity of the attack left three of those wounds in his left leg, causing significant damage to his muscles. Dave recalls how this incident made even walking a struggle, let alone running. In a recent interview with Job Skills’ Compass Magazine, he revealed that he also developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and gained a staggering 200 pounds.

For almost 20 years, Dave battled addiction in secret. Despite his struggles, most people viewed him as the ever-cheerful drunk, unaware of the pain he felt behind closed doors. Dave often referred to himself as the “sad clown,” skillfully hiding his alcohol problem from friends and family. However, the news of impending fatherhood shook him to his core, prompting him to seek help and abandon his destructive drinking habits. Yet, this was just the beginning of his journey towards self-improvement.

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One heartbreaking moment for Dave occurred when his daughter expressed her desire to run with him, but his weight and leg issues made it impossible. Determined to change his circumstances, Dave embarked on a weight loss journey, shedding a significant amount of pounds. A turning point came when a supportive friend registered him for a 4 km run. Dave’s dedication paid off, as he completed the race alongside his daughter.

Inspired by this achievement, Dave now participates in a running club twice a week at his daughter’s school. Together, they are eagerly preparing to take part in a Terry Fox run, further solidifying their bond. Dave’s remarkable transformation showcases not only his physical strength but also his unwavering determination to overcome obstacles.

Dave Murphy’s story teaches us that life may throw challenges our way, but it’s how we respond to them that truly matters. Despite enduring unimaginable trauma, struggling with alcoholism, and battling with weight and leg issues, Dave is a testament to the power of resilience and the rewards it can bring. His journey inspires us to never give up, no matter how daunting the road ahead may seem.

Former Blue Jays’ Manager John Gibbons


For 35 plus years, Job Skills has been delivering solutions to job seekers and moving people into sustainable, meaningful employment. Throughout their long history, Job Skills has recognized that not every job seeker is the same. There is no one size fits all employment program. That’s why the Job Skills vision is building an inclusive society where all people are ensured equitable opportunities to fulfill their career aspirations and participate fully in the community.

Job Skills’ employment specialists are there to answer any of your employment questions. Job Skills‘ staff offer solutions to all job seekers, including youth, newcomers, mature workers, persons with disabilities, and entrepreneurs. Job Skills’ knowledgeable team can help you make educated decisions, set goals, and create a strategy to help you become happier in your career. Job Skills works with local employers creating employment opportunities for Job Skills’ clients.

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