Community comes together

September is cancer awareness month for childhood, ovarian, prostate and men’s cancers.

September is cancer awareness month for childhood, ovarian, prostate and men’s cancers and the people of Burns Lake came out in force this past weekend to support the research being done to reduce the devastating impact of this disease.

On Saturday Burns Lake RCMP Const. Dave Wolchuk and 24 of his Cops for Cancer-Tour de North teammates biked into the village as part of their seven-day 850-kilometre bicycle ride from Prince George to Prince Rupert.

Wolchuk joined the team to help support the Canadian Cancer Society in their mission to eradicate the disease and enhance the quality of live for people living with cancer.

To have the opportunity to complete the challenging and rewarding trek, the fourth-year member of the Burns Lake RCMP detachment pledged to raise $3000 for pediatric cancer research.

Thanks to the wonderful community support he received the officer surpassed that goal by $2000, which will all go to the Northwest region of the Canadian Cancer Society.

Wolchuk will still be on the road when you read this. The Cops for Cancer-Tour de North team is not scheduled to arrive at the end of their wonderful journey until tomorrow.

On Sunday Burns Lake held their 34th annual Terry Fox Run at Francois Lake. Over 100 members of the community registered to bike, run or walk for the chance to show their support for family, friends and neighbours living with the disease as well as raise awareness and funds for cancer eradication research projects.

Brodie MacPherson, 6, is one young person who made it a goal to take part in this charity run. Brodie lost his cousin Kaiden five years ago to the same type of cancer that took Terry Fox’s life.

During the run, Brodie along with his younger brother Jacob, 4, wore pictures of Kaiden on the front of their t-shirts along with a timeline of his 10-year-old life pinned to their backs.

Brodie’s mother Chrystal Vanderwijk said the picture attached to the young boys’ chests shows Brodie with Kaiden shortly after the cancer fighter’s arm was amputated and just before he succumbed to the disease.

She said this is the second year the boys have taken part in the run and it was Brodie who first noticed signs bearing Terry Fox’s image this year before asking to participate in the event.

Like David and Brodie all of us have been moved by cancer in some way during our lives. I lost my grandmother on my mother’s side, Nellie Courtney, to ovarian cancer when I was in my teens and my grandfather on my father’s side, Claude Harkins, to colorectal cancer before I was born.

To see the support and dedication and celebration of life that accompanies a wonderful bicycle ride through beautiful northern British Columbia and a great community turnout to support the Terry Fox Run alongside gorgeous Francois Lake is heartwarming.

During the run I was told the Decker Lake Elementary School is planning to hold a Terry Fox Run of their own on the first Friday back to school.

I hope to be there to take pictures of the dedication of these young people to support their family, friends and neighbours who are living with cancer.