6th annual Women Walking for Hope on May 6

Community News

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2017

A group of ‘Women Walking for Hope’ will once again travel 40 kms from Petawawa to Pembroke on foot to raise money for the Renfrew County Canadian Cancer Society’s Wheels of Hope program.

In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, team members Susan Chalmers, Jeris Chalmers-Wein and Lesley Buckingham are doing things a bit differently this year. They hope to entice 150 people to sponsor $20 apiece towards their May 6 trek.

In the past five years the walk has contributed about $27,000 to the Wheels of Hope program, and they hope to break $30,000 this year. Last year alone, they raised $8,846.10. “We are always happy with anything,” said Chalmers. “$20 could be a lot for somebody, so $2 is great. It is $2 that the organization didn’t have before. Any amount is wonderful to us.”

But the money isn’t everything, she noted. “Our ultimate goal is the awareness,” said Chalmers, “so that people in the community, in Renfrew County, are aware of this program. If they know that it is there they’ll utilize it.”

As well as donate to the cause, people are invited to join the walk. They do not have to do the whole 40 kms, as Chalmers admits that it is a lot of walking for one day. But any discomfort participants may feel is just a small reminder of the hardships that cancer patients endure. “This is just one day for us,” said Chalmers. “People who are affected by this disease suffer a lot more.”

The group plans to end up at Joes Family Pizzeria in Pembroke, as the business has been a staunch supporter of theirs over the years. There, they will announce if they’ve met their goal or surpassed it. “We have had countless continuous supporters in the community,” said Chalmers. “People who support us every single year and we are so thankful for them because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to make the donation that we make. We just do the walking. It is everybody else who is donating that is the true hero."

The Wheels of Hope Transportation Service program involves volunteers driving cancer patients to appointments they otherwise might not be able to attend. Over 220 people in the county use it. It costs about $88 round-trip and the program receives no government funding. Fundraisers such as Women Walking for Hope allow this program to exist. “You can have all the research in the world, but if people can’t get to the appointment then what is the point?” said Chalmers.

To donate or for more information, please contact Susan Chalmers at chalmers@wein.ca, call her at 613-687-0605 or visit cancer.ca and search for 6th Annual Women Walking For Hope.