Relay for Life encourages all in Creston Valley to keep fighting cancer

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Relay for Life honorary chair Lisa Primrose in the 2013 Creston Valley Blossom Festival parade.

Relay for Life honorary chair Lisa Primrose in the 2013 Creston Valley Blossom Festival parade.

Cancer is more than just a word. It is one of those things that become part of the way of life for not only those fighting it, but their loved ones as well. There is always a reason to fight for a future without cancer, and we believe everyone should keep fighting one way or another.

Your local Relay For Life event provides you with many opportunities to help in the fight. You can make a donation or volunteer to help out on relay day — many volunteers are needed for jobs both big and small! What about starting or joining a relay team? Is there some major reason you can’t? Think about how many donations you could get, isn’t that even better than just making one yourself? And the fun you will have with your team!

Ask yourself: If you were a part of Relay for Life, why would you be relaying? Each and every person that is a part of the relay has a reason, and every reason is a little bit different yet just as touching as the last! I relay for myself, my family members and my friends who have lost their lives or fought this horrible disease. I also relay because I believe we can make more happy endings. Here is my story of when I found out I had cancer.

Sept. 12, 2011, was just another Monday when I received a call from my doctor saying he wanted to see me as soon as I got off of work to give me the results from a recent routine scope. When I arrived, he told me to sit down as he had disturbing news to tell me. He said that I had cancer. He told me that everything would be OK and he would get treatment for me as soon as possible. I left the hospital and sat in my car and I cried. All I could think about is that I was going to die from cancer at a young age, just like my friend Brenda who passed away in 2009. I kept thinking about leaving my children without a mom the same way Brenda’s children had been left on her passing. I drove home and sat on our deck and just cried.

I reached out to someone else who fought the same form of disease as me a few years before. She came over and talked me through the shock and told me who I needed to contact. At the top of my list was the Canadian Cancer Society in Cranbrook. They were awesome! They told me everything I had to do step by step. The Canadian Cancer Society helped me with all my treatments, medication, traveling expenses, lodging and more.

My doctor was great and got me into the BC Cancer Agency in Kelowna to start radiation and chemotherapy right away. My husband and I stayed in Kelowna for two months so that I could receive my treatment every weekday. I met a lot of different people there fighting the same disease or other types of cancers. We exchanged stories and became friends. The many postive letters, emails, songs, and notes of encouragement from all my family and friends helped support me through my battle. Now, I am luckily in remission since September 2012, but since my battle, I have lost two very dear friends to cancer.

Survivors like me are proof that we are making progress in the fight against cancer. While research is only one part of what the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life funds, without this lifesaving research I would likely not be alive today to tell my story.

I will never stop fighting this disease. Please, give or join if you can, as every little bit helps! I walk for those that I know and love, I also walk for you and yours.

Lisa Primrose is the Relay for Life’s honorary chair.

—BY LISA PRIMROSE