by Brett Hedges
The Lance – Sports Editor
Every April, the Canadian Cancer Society launches a national fundraising campaign with a bright yellow bloom at the forefront to break the darkness of the long winter and remind people there is hope.
In Ontario, numerous volunteers get involved in a variety of activities to raise vital funds for the fight against Cancer. Whether it is selling daffodil pins or fresh blooms at local grocery stores or canvassing door-to-door in some community.
Susan Lund is the Director of the Essex Community Office of the Canadian Cancer Society and said 3 million daffodil pins have been ordered this year to support the cause.
“The daffodil is our symbol of hope,” said Lund. “It is one of the first flowers to bloom after a long dark winter. We think it is important for people to wear it so people facing cancer know that they are not alone. It is something we are working on altogether. I have people in my own family who have faced cancer and my mother passed away from cancer so it is an important cause to me and is something I appreciate when people volunteer their time and their donations to such a worthy cause.”
With a fundraising goal of $68,000, Lund said it is important for those interested in donating to make sure to look for the bright yellow daffodil to make sure it is the Canadian Cancer Society they are supporting.
“We really need people’s support and for them to know if there is not a daffodil then it is not our organization,” said Lund. “It is really important for people to continue to fund the society because we are the only provincial and national charity that funds cancers of all levels and all stages and all types of cancer. So we really need people to be aware and if they are interested in supporting us to check and see if there is a daffodil on it.”
Lund said the society also uses Daffodil Month to promote other valuable services provided to those who have cancer, have questions about cancer or who want to help.
“We also do a lot of information on prevention and screening and early detection and we also want people to know about our services,” said Lund. “People who are facing cancer or know someone who is facing cancer or one of their parents has to get a test, or someone from a different community who needs a ride to treatments they can call 1-888-939-3333 and we’re here to help. It’s really important for people to know the number is there.”
Susan White is a long-time volunteer of the Canadian Cancer Society and said the most important part of Daffodil Month to her is the ability to fund research.
“Going into the community with something really visual, like the daffodil, shows our symbol and represents the society and of course, hope,” said White. “So when you go out into the community the daffodil is a visual sign of that hope. But it also allows us to educate people when we sell them on weekends or at events all across the county and the city. It lets people know what the Canadian Cancer Society is all about.”
In Canada alone last year, more than 191,000 people were diagnosed with cancer while over 76,000 people died from the disease. From 2013 to 2014, over 1,500 people in the Windsor-Essex community were helped through the generous support of Daffodil Month.
“One day we’re going to eradicate this disease,” said White. “It is so important for us to be aware. In wearing the daffodil, you’re also speaking to everyone in your life that this is important to you and it is so important to us as a society to do something about this.”
As April comes to an end, the Canadian Cancer Society will turn it’s focus on another large fundraiser for the society, The Relay For Life. The event will take place June 6 at the Windsor Riverfront Festival Plaza and Lund said it’s similar to a track meet but more festive, with music and activities. Lund added, a handful of teams with ties to the University of Windsor have signed up and hopes the change from an overnight event to a six-hour event will be more inclusive of families than in years past.
Anyone with any inquiries about how they can help the Canadian Cancer Society can visit www.cancer.ca.