By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario - They say laughter is the best medicine - and thanks to a new Cornwall charity, hockey is the next best remedy.
All The King's People, run by the Cornwall River Kings and its booster club, will take its best shot at cancer during a multi-event fundraiser held across the city on Sunday, September 7.
The goal is to help Danielle Ouimet, a single mom from Cornwall who was diagnosed with cervical cancer at 23 years old, with enormous medical bills that result from her trips back and forth to Ottawa for chemotherapy.
Being able to focus on making memories with her two children, Ethan, 6, and Emmett, 1, before treatments start has never been an option, until now.
"The fundraiser will help us in so many ways," said Ouimet, who makes a living as a bartender. "I've been working overtime to make sure we'll have some savings to carry us over during treatments, and allow me to take the full recovery time off work."
When she was first diagnosed, Ouimet had several operations and treatments to beat it, miraculously got pregnant and immediately postponed treatments until her son was born in 2012.
The cancer complicated the pregnancy and she spent most of it on bed rest, which meant medical leave at 11 weeks pregnant.
When her son was six weeks old, Ouimet began treatments again. In May 2013, she had to undergo a complete hysterectomy and finally went into remission until April 2014.
The financial strain of taking so much time off work and constant costs associated with prescriptions, rides to Ottawa, hotels to recover in and babysitters left her in significant debt.
"The cancer was hard on my family, my sons were too young to understand why mommy was gone so much and why when I was home I was sleeping or couldn't play," she said.
There's a full itinerary of events to help raise funds for Ouimet on Sept. 7.
The River Kings and Queens will be holding a car wash and BBQ at The Brick Cornwall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Donations can be made at the River Kings merchandise booth at the Cornwall Speedway beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The River Kings Blue & White game is also on Sept. 7 at the Cornwall Civic Complex, with an after-party being held at Shoeless Joe’s, followed by another at Vu Nightspot.
A percentage of all money raised by the team on Sept. 7 will go toward Ouimet’s medical bills, in addition to an RESP fund for her two sons, courtesy of Scott Beck from Sunlife Financial.
"This fundraiser is the biggest support I've received in this battle, and it's hard to vocalize how much it really means to my boys and I," said Ouimet.
Brock Frost, owner of the River Kings, started the charity as a way to help those in dire financial straits, suffering from life-threatening illnesses, unable to pursue higher education, and children looking to be active in sports.
“I am always looking for bigger and better ways to help out in my community,” said Frost.
For information on how to donate, please contact the River Kings office at 613-933-9797.