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Posted: April 23, 2015

Filling the pot of gold at the end the cancer rainbow

Katie Norton,By Katey Norton

Relay For Life Honorary Chair


I am thrilled and honoured to be Cranbrook’s Relay For Life Honorary Chair this year. The Canadian Cancer Society and their research and fundraising efforts are very important to me.

In 2012 I was diagnosed with grade IV brain cancer and have been in treatment ever since. My kind of cancer, Glioblastoma Multiforme, is a hard to treat cancer with a low survival rate. The average life expectancy is 12-14 months and I am so happy to have beaten that statistic.

The improvements in cancer outcomes would not be possible without the research supported by the Canadian Cancer Society. The Canadian Cancer Society has the greatest impact against the most cancers across Canada and leads the charge in prevention methods through education and advocacy efforts. Without them, there would be less advancement in not only treatment but in prevention, early detection and screening; as well as less support for patients and their families during this difficult time.

Few people are aware of the full scope of support programs the society has to offer, including financial support to offset travel and accommodation expenses, lodges to stay at during treatment, peer support programs and information services.

The Canadian Cancer Society has been an incredible resource to me since diagnosis.

One of the supports they offer is free wig banks, and I’ll never forget how amazing they were when I lost my hair. It may seem superficial, but it took a toll on me. At that point I not only felt sick, I looked it. I knew I wanted a wig and the society was there with a number of options. When none of the wigs at the Cranbrook location worked, they contacted the Vancouver office that sent me two beautiful options. One was the perfect color and once it was cut, it looked exactly how my hair had before. They completely understood how important this was to me and did everything they could to ensure I was happy.

I am really excited about Relay for Life this year for a lot of reasons. This year’s theme is ‘Filling the Pot of Gold at the End of the Cancer Rainbow,’ where each team gets to choose a cancer that is significant to them and raise awareness about that type of cancer! It’s also a fun way to brand your team – choose shirts in the cancer’s color, base your team’s name on it, etc.

It will be amazing to see all the different cancers represented this year. I am also incredibly grateful to Brain Canada, as this year they are matching all donations dedicated to brain cancer. So for every dollar donated, two dollars will go to brain cancer!

The June 6 Relay For Life is located right in the heart of downtown in Rotary Park from 4:30-10:30 p.m.

To create your own team or join an existing one, head to www.relayforlife.ca/cranbrookkimberley. I look forward to seeing you all there to support the amazing work of the Canadian Cancer Society.

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