The 2018 Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life will be held on June 22 at the Pembroke Memorial Centre. A special launch was held on March 6 to thank the event’s sponsors. From left are Marilyn Gorr from logistics sponsor Access Health Care, Stacey Kelly from Scotiabank, Griff Slaughter from Pembroke Hyundai, Elijah McKeown from the City of Pembroke, Amanda Zappa from Rexall Foundation, 2018 Relay for Life Chair Cindy Giroux, Hugh Martin from Sunsign Graphics, Kyle Robinson from MyFM, Canadian Cancer Society Renfrew County Office Manager Roger Martin holding a sign for sponsor Dunbar Home Inspections, and Brigitte Van Hende from BNI. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

2018 Relay for Life to be held at Pembroke Memorial Centre

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday March 22, 2018

The Petawawa and Beachburg Canadian Cancer Society Relays For Life are joining forces this year.

Instead of two separate events, one large relay will be held at the Pembroke Memorial Centre on June 22.

Having the relay inside has several benefits.

Participants will be protected from inclement weather, and the PMC’s elevated track allows room for teams below, said Cindy Giroux, the relay’s chair.

“By becoming more central in the county, our hope is that we will be more accessible for businesses and family teams and get everybody involved in the fight against cancer,” said Giroux.

Nearly one Canadian in two will battle cancer in their lifetime. Though the statistic seems grim, almost 90 per cent of new diagnoses are Canadians 50 years of age and older. There is also great progress in treatment.

“There are more people living in Canada now with cancer than any other time in history and that is because people with cancer are now living longer,” said Canadian Cancer Society Renfrew County Office Manager Roger Martin. “Many cancers that were once a death sentence are now a manageable disease.”

Some cancers like thyroid and testicular have a five-year survival rate of over 90 per cent. Overall, five-year survival rates for adults is also 60 per cent while over 80 per cent of children with cancer will survive after five years.

“Every dollar that we raise in the relay goes to changing a cancer patient’s life,” said Martin.
Relay for Life Honourary Survivor Susan Hanniman was invited to speak at the Relay for Life launch about her journey with Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). She was diagnosed in November of 2015 and though her doctors consider her cancer-free, she must return for check ups every three months.

“If my diagnosis would have been ten years earlier, I may not have survived,” said Hanniman.
She encouraged people not only to donate for research, but also become a bone marrow donor when possible, a procedure that helped her prognosis.

But fighting cancer wasn’t no easy task.

She was in the hospital for 106 days and it was a nine-month process. But the community gathered behind her, offering help and support to her and her family.
“I’ve been blessed,” said Hanniman.

The Canadian Cancer Society has the goal of irradicating cancer and enhancing the quality of life of those currently living with the disease. Relay for Life events are held across Canada; in 2017 alone, over 410 relays were held nationwide.

“Without events like Relay for Life, our local community programs would not exist such as our Wheels of Hope, the Pantene Wig Program and of course research, which saves lives every day,” said Lana Gorr, Community Engagement Specialist with the Society.

The Renfrew County Relay for Life will be held on June 22 from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. For more information, please contact Lana Gorr at