Relay for Life to be better than ever

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The Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life enters its second decade in 2012.

“I relay because I ran out of fingers and toes counting up the family, friends and relatives who have had their lives touched by some form of cancer. My dad died of lung cancer, an uncle has had prostate cancer, right now a cousin is having a bone marrow transplant, a friend has just been diagnosed with throat cancer — the list is long. Prevention, improved treatments and support services — we need it all. It will provide hope instead of fear!”

L.M.

“My mom never got to see me enter high school, graduate or go to college, and she’ll never get to see me get married, buy my first home or have children. Cancer stole these memories from me, and they stole her life from her. Words cannot describe the severe hurt and suffocating pain attributed with a loved one battling and having their life stolen by cancer, yet too many people can relate to this feeling. The Canadian Cancer Society is making a difference by funding leading cancer research which leads to new treatments, by supporting those battling with support programs, information and personal assistance, and by leading change in health promotion and lobbying government in an effort to prevent cancer. No family should ever have to experience what mine did; no family should be torn apart by cancer. This is why I volunteer. This is why I relay.”

— J.B.

 

The Canadian Cancer Society is the largest national charitable funder of cancer research in Canada. We fund the best researchers in BC and across the country on all cancers. We are so much more than just research however – we offer practical and emotional support programs when you need us.

But you know, I hope you never need us.

I hope you never need to take advantage of our financial support programs to subsidize expenses incurred as you travel out of area to undergo your cancer treatment. I hope you never find yourself a guest at one of our economical and welcoming patient lodges while away from home for your medical care.

I pray that the summer never comes where you will send your child or grandchild for an action packed, fun filled week for kids with cancer at Camp Goodtimes.

It is my sincere wish that you will never have to call your volunteer support peer —matched to you through Cancer Connection — in the middle of the night to talk about your diagnosis, treatment, side effects, prognosis or simply your hopes and fears.

And though I hope you never have to call our cancer information service for information on your or a loved one’s cancer diagnosis or treatment, I hope you will call them with any cancer related questions you may have. These highly trained specialists provide the most up to date information in a way that is easy to understand, in more than 100 languages, helping you to make informed decisions about your health.

While I hope you never need us, I ask you to hear us when we say that about half of cancers are preventable, and initiatives to reduce the risk of cancer have the greatest potential to save lives. The Canadian Cancer Society uses public education, health promotion, community action, and advocacy to government to advance cancer prevention — because by preventing cancer in the first place, we all win.

I truly hope you never need us, but if you do, I want you to know that we are there. We are able to offer services and supports such as these only through the hard work of our fundraisers and the generosity of our donors. For ten years the Creston Valley has played host to the Canadian Cancer Society’s largest fundraising event, the Relay for Life. We want to enter into our second decade stronger, bigger and better than the relay that you have come to appreciate. Our goal is elevate the relay from an event to an experience for all who take part. We want more teams, more survivors, more caregivers, more participants — including families and children. We are reinventing and refreshing ourselves with more ceremony, more activities, more storytelling, more of what you have come to expect from Relay for Life!

The Creston Valley has come together for ten years to celebrate cancer survivors, remember lives lost to cancer, and commit to fight back against this disease that touches all of us. We are asking for your support to help us make Relay for Life in Creston the absolute best it can be. We want to hear your ideas, share your passion, and bring to the community a unique Creston event. We are inviting all to an informative brainstorming meeting on Dec. 3 at 10 a.m. at the Creston and District Public Library. If you’ve ever been involved in relay in any capacity, or have never been involved but would like to, we want to hear from you.

The Canadian Cancer Society invites all Creston residents to volunteer to assist with event organization, volunteer to help out the day of the event, organize a group of friends/family to participate as a team or sponsor someone who is participating. Absolutely no experience is necessary!

— BY LORI STEVENSON

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