Relay for Life gears up for June 16 event

The 2018 Comox Valley Relay for Life is set for June 9 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. at the Vanier track. Black Press file

The 2018 Comox Valley Relay for Life is set for June 9 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. at the Vanier track. Black Press file

There were plenty of fun activities for the entire family as well, with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.

22News was a proud sponsor of Saturday's event.

For the relay, each team was given a baton, the idea being that at least one member be walking on the track at any given time, the symbolism being that no one is facing cancer alone. Diagnosed with uterine cancer in 1977, Ely said that diagnosis was hard to overcome.

The event is at the St. Joseph County 4H grounds, where folks are taking their laps to raise money to fight cancer.

Clodagh's journey was in the spotlight from an early age as the community rallied around to support her and her family. Her son Christopher Wynn said, "I don't think cancer should exist".

She added he was able to overcome that as well.

She said the cancer society was there when she needed someone to rely on. The theme is movies and they have a goal set to raise $40,000. "He didn't die of cancer, but I'm doing it in honor of him too".

"Team IBB actually started me with Relay For Life". A year later, she was diagnosed with appendix cancer, which she beat.

"She was a GP but she had never had a smear test", said Catherine. "So many people get involved".


Dalton Robinson, 17, of Ford City is a survivor of retinoblastoma, a type of eye cancer. "I was prepared to fight this battle as soon as it hit me".

Cancer survivors and caregivers gather for a pre-event photo.

"This event means a lot to us", he said. There are days they want you to be bubbly, days where they want you to listen and days where you have to be the emotional enforcer.

New at the event this year were food trucks and a live performance by former American Idol contestant Aubrey Burchell.

"It can happen to anybody", she said.

Burchell, 17, of North Huntingdon said she was honored to be asked to perform.

Ivan Labelle, a three-time cancer survivor, served as community champion/honorary cancer survivor for the relay, and he was serving as master of ceremonies again, after months of behind-the-scenes work helping St-Jean to organize the event, to perhaps have it back on the road to someday being one of the biggest in the province.

22News spoke to one of the event organizers, Patricia Gregoire, and she explained the importance of events like these.

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