MAXVILLE, Ontario – It was a beautiful and warm Friday evening for the annual Relay for Life, organized by the Canadian Cancer Society of SD&G and Prescott-Russell, in Maxville on June 7.
Dozens were present for the opening ceremony and the cancer survivors walk. In all, over 250 individuals participated in the Relay which ran from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. the next day.
“Many of us have been directly affected by cancer and we have a story and connection with those who have experienced it,” said Ivan Labelle, cancer survivor and the Master of Ceremonies for the event.
Labelle praised the gathered cancer survivors for their perseverance.
“Survivors are the heart and soul of Relay for Life,” he said. “You are living proof that progress is being made in the fight against cancer.”
Labelle explained how in the 1980s the overall survival rate of cancers was 25 per cent, and today, that number has grown to 60 per cent.
The Canadian Cancer Society invited Dr. Doug Gray of the Ottawa Hosptial Research Institute to the Relay for Life as a special guest.
Dr. Gray has a 30 year career in researching cancer, specializing in lung cancer. Dr. Gray’s own life has been touched by cancer, losing his mother to lung cancer and his father to prostate cancer.
He shared a story about how an acquaintance of his was diagnosed with skin cancer that spread to her brain.
“That used to be a death sentence,” he said. “She lived for seven years at a good quality of life. We keep working towards a cure.”
Dr. Gray said he found events like the Relay for Life inspiring because it allowed him to see how the work he does is funded and has an impact.
Seaway News is a sponsor of this event.