DAY 6 (page 1 of 2): Thursday,
August 11, 2016
Peggy and Dave look pretty happy this morning. Roll over or tap image.
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Welcome back to our sixteenth
consecutive year of Kayaking for Cancer!
It’s August, which for our family means a trip to Kingston to once again begin the trek along the Rideau to raise money for cancer research. The last year has seen the passing of my cousin Melissa, the continued courageous fight of a colleague, and a very close family member again dealing with melanoma. But as the week of laughs, stories, and forming new friendships unfolds, we have noticed three themes emerging.
Remembrance of those with whom we have shared the journey and have lost along the way, seems a good place to start. Our tight knit family lost another member this year, in Denis Lachance. Our memories of Denis on and off the water are that of a quiet, caring man, who paddled alongside his brother during his fight with the disease, and when his time on the water was done, continued to pay us an annual visit during our lunch at Seeley’s Bay. We continue to keep Gert and Denis’ family in our thoughts and prayers. A deafening silence is perhaps the best way to describe the beautiful tribute to Denis, Papa Ron, Rip, Brent, and Jessie at Davis locks. Kayakers, boaters awaiting the locks, and the Parks Canada crew listened, as we reflected on their lives, and remembered their contributions, whether paddler or member of the support crew.
“Okay let’s go!” (using your hands to amplify the sound of your voice… thank you Kevin for making my girls louder :) ) Our girls have lived this week since birth, and along with the rest of the junior K4C crew, have come to embrace what this event is all about. They are there to carry paddles and help with kayaks when we have to portage. They are just as excited to help out on the ground crew, slugging bins and bags, as they are to be on the water paddling. They VERY successfully canvas boaters and others at the locks for donations… really, who can resist those faces! They are the future. Michelle asked our girls what this week means to them, and they responded:
“I feel good for raising money for cancer because if we didn’t people wouldn’t be able to live without their medicine” – Aimée
“Kayaking from Kingston to Ottawa is good because we can raise money and meet people who had cancer and have survived cancer.” – Mariève
Bottom line, the kids get it and the future of this event looks bright.
Lastly, and perhaps most encouraging, we began our journey with hope. Kevin called all those within our small group who had fought and were victorious in their fight, to step forward. With a nudge from Michelle, I took my place along with the other survivors. We are proof that this disease can be beaten, that our efforts on and off the water are not in vain. Everyone’s fight is unique – I can remember my oncologist telling me to think of my particular combination of medicine as a cocktail mixed just for me. We all paddle for our own reasons, however hope is always the underlying theme – hope of remission, the hope of being cancer free, the hope that one day there will be a cure.
As each day goes by, there are more and more people diagnosed with this horrible inconvenience of a disease; there are also many more who can share their survival story. It is my hope, that through our efforts on the water, and the generous donations made by friends and family, that the day will come when cancer is no more. But until then… this family will paddle on.