Join the cancer battle

April is known provincewide as Cancer Awareness Month

Peggie Jones and Catherine McDermott of the Parksville Qualicum Beach Branch of the Canadian Cancer Society preparing for the annual daffodil campaign set for April 14.

Volunteers at the Parksville Qualicum Beach Canadian Cancer Society branch want to remind people that April is the month to join the fight against cancer.

Peggie Jones and Catherine McDermott are asking everyone to wear a daffodil and show their support for Canadians living with cancer and let them know that no one has to face cancer alone.

On Saturday, April 14 there will be volunteers out in the community selling daffodil pins.  Money raised from the sale of the pins is used for prevention education, research and support.

Jones said Vancouver Island was the first area to launch the daffodil campaign and now it is used across the entire country as a way for people to contribute in some way to the battle against the disease and to this day bright yellow daffodils continue to symbolize strength and courage in the fight against cancer.

For many people a cancer diagnosis means facing overwhelming stress, difficult decisions and a barrage of financial, emotional and physical challenges.

To help cancer patients navigate the challenges they face, the Canadian Cancer Society connects cancer patients in need with financial support and more.

McDermott said their office has a large breast cancer support group, prostate cancer support group, an extensive library with incredible resources which are free to the public and many other services run by dedicated volunteers.

Wondering how to get to your cancer treatment appointment?  The local office has volunteer drivers that will pick you up and take you to your treatment related appointments at no charge.  There are eight volunteer drivers in District 69 who used their own vehicles to transport people.

“These people aren’t well and our driver program has been well received in the community,” said Jones.

Financial support provides assistance to people in need for transportation and accommodation expenses when traveling to and from cancer treatment.  Through the Cancer Society people can obtain discounts at hotels for medically related appointments.

A cancer connection is also available to any adult with cancer and will match them with a trained volunteer who has had a similar cancer experience.

In 2006-2007, the Canadian Cancer Society funded more than $47 million in leading-edge research projects across the country.  Jones said with over 200 different cancers their agency is working hard to fight all of them.

“We have some of the best researchers in B.C. and our volunteers come from diverse backgrounds,” said Jones.

“We all bring a different set of skills and knowledge and our door is always open to new volunteers,” said McDermott.

Jones and McDermott are inviting the public to come out to their open house from 11 am until 3 p.m. on April 24 where they will be celebrating 10 years in their office at 172 2nd Ave. West in Qualicum Beach.  Parksville Mayor Chris Burger will be dropping by at 11:30 for some cake and coffee and the public is encouraged to come out as well.


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