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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Participating in the Relay for Life is a team effort. Judy Hill, Brenda Sammon, Lomie Coleman and Nancy Carr are all survivors, walking the track together. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Adam Eastabrook, 4, straightens up the fallen luminaries. These are lit and line the track, each a memory for somebody touched by cancer. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Rachel Grein holds up her Relay baton, a giant rose. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Cancer stinks, so Paul Dumas walked the track dressed as a skunk. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    The cancer survivors and their caregivers are given the first lap, led by Corporal Jonathan Mulholland on the bagpipes. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    The cancer survivors and their caregivers are given the first lap, led by Corporal Jonathan Mulholland on the bagpipes. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)


 

 


Annual Renfrew County Relay for Life raises more than $100K

Community News

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2016


As a doctor and a familiar face at the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life in Petawawa, 2016 Honourary Cancer Survivor Lomie Coleman never expected to find herself on the “cold end of the stethoscope.”

It came as an absolute shock to find out she had multiple myeloma, a cancer that targets plasma cells in bone marrow. She knew that just 30 years ago, it would have been a death sentence within three years.
Forunately, it isn’t 30 years ago.

It has now been three years since she first fought the disease. She underwent radiation, chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, and thanks to research funded by the Canadian Cancer Society, her prognosis for long-term survival is increasingly positive.

She isn’t the only one to have suffered, having lost both her parents to cancer as a child. “In the 1960s, which wasn’t long ago for some of us, little could be done,” said Coleman. “Diagnosis was usually late, treatment was unpleasant and often ineffective. Neither of my parents reached six months.”

Treatment has greatly improved since then. By the 1990s, when her stepmother and sister were diagnosed with breast cancer, treatments made it possible for them to survive the disease. Similar stories were repeated throughout the evening, as survivors, family members, friends, and supporters gathered together to take part in the relay.

The June 3 event raised more than $103,000 with more still trickling in. It is in its 17th year, and was held at Garrison Petawawa.

According to society statistics, 131,300 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer this year. About 76,600 will lose their lives while 63 per cent will survive.

Though cancer is a tragic disease, the relay is a poignant, uplifting experience; sometimes causing tears, but more often laughter. It is about celebrating life, and triumph. It is about a community coming together and helping out their own. “We are raising money for people right here in our community,” said Renfrew County Canadian Cancer Society fundraising specialist Jessica Khouri.

The Canadian Cancer Society raises money for treatment, and provides local programs to help cancer patients live better lives.

One of the Renfrew County Branch’s most popular programs is its Wheels of Hope transportation service. Volunteers bring patients to their treatments and appointments in Ottawa. This removes some of the stresses and costs associated with the disease.

The society also lobbies for effective health care policies to help stem the disease and raise awareness.
“They are doing a lot of lead research projects, they are raising funds to keep those projects going and hopefully find that silver bullet,” said Emcee Kyle Robinson.

The top fundraisers for the 2016 Relay for Life are Team Skunky with $6,070, Valley Anglicans with $5,405.74, Victory for Victorine! with $2,016, 4 CDSG Signals SQN with $1,958.50, the League of Extraordinary Johnstons with $1,870.00, Team Heather with $1,860, Starz In Motion! with $1,690, Garrison Petawawa Military Police with $1,295, Active Chiropractic with $1,275.00 and the ‘A’ Team #38 with $860.