Locals encouraged to #acceptthebaton in upcoming relays to save lives
By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter
Many know someone, whether they be a family member or a friend, who has dealt with cancer. Frustration, pain, and anger often grow during this time in a person’s life, with patients overwhelmed by constant questions on the many hopes and dreams they had hoped to accomplish. Yet through it all, there’s hopefully a form of a support system, there to help those who need it. The Canadian Cancer Society [CCS] believes that no one should go through the fight against cancer alone—and that’s why they started the Relay For Life movement.
Every year, the Relay For Life takes place across Canada in towns and cities to give communities the chance to show their support for cancer research. This event showcases teams who run laps for 12 hours, fueled by the fundraising that takes place.
Tri-City News sat down with Ruth Nance, a longtime volunteer and grandmother whose life has been forever changed after surviving her fight with cancer. She recalled her time with cervical cancer and expressed her gratitude towards the CCS for partially funding the research for her road to recovery. The celebration of life that takes place every year to give thanks to the head organizers gives her opportunities to connect with others and share her story.
“We’re supposed to be there for each other. I’ve met some of the most amazing people through volunteering for this,” Nance explained. “We’re not supposed to be [there] for ourselves. Get involved, whether it’s with the Relay, donating, supporting or volunteering. Just come together.”
As Nance looks forward to participating in the Relay For Life once again, Chris and Sarah Caverly are likeminded. The Maple Ridge siblings have been through thick and thin together, before they each fought cancer, and especially after both parents passed away after losing their own battle with cancer. The Caverlys have raised more than $190,000 over the nine years they’ve participated, and regularly look forward to spreading their message of hope to others.
“Chris’ favourite memory is participating in the survivor lap with his sister and mom,” commented Sara Caverly to Tri-City News.
“We have both always felt that when you get a life-changing disease you have to give back or stay involved somehow or way. The Relay has been that for us.”
Recently, Coquitlam’s Relay for Life, celebrating 25 years, took place and raised over $237,000 for cancer research. With hopes to raise over $30 million this year, Relay For Life has planned events across Canada in the coming months. In the Lower Mainland, there will be relays on June 11 in Delta and on June 18 in Richmond and Surrey.