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DAY 6 (page 1 of 2): Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kaleigh gets some help.

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Welcome back to our twelfth consecutive year of Kayaking for Cancer!

Eight years ago, when I was a newbie with K4C, cancer was not a big factor in my life. I didn’t have any close relatives and very few friends that had been affected by this horrible disease, and I am very thankful for that. As I got to know more and more people in what was to become my K4C family, cancer started to rear its ugly head. I could see how it affected my new friends when their loved ones were suffering. Cancer was starting to come into my life. Last year, just before kayaking began, I found out that my brother Bob was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. In May of this year he lost his battle to this disease. Now cancer was personal!

It seems that this year is especially bad for our K4C team as the other journal entries would indicate. The bad news just seemed to keep coming and coming. Less than a week before this year’s event we lost a new paddler, Dan Alcorn. Two days before the event my son-in-law Chris lost his grandfather. It seemed like there was no end to the bad news. I didn’t know it then but for me that was about to change.

My brother’s son Michael has a step daughter named Lauren. Two years ago when Lauren was 15 she was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. Eight months later it was discovered that she had Lung Cancer as well. Over the past two years Lauren has had 101 days of chemotherapy, she has lost her hair twice, spent more than 120 nights in the hospital, 37 radiation treatments, 8 surgeries, 14 scars, and over 400 needles. She completed her last round of Chemo four weeks ago. On Wednesday while I was waiting for the kayaks to arrive in Merrickville I was reading Lauren’s journal on line and discovered that her latest scans are completely clear. There is no sign of cancer! This was the absolute best news that I had had in a while. Her battle with cancer is not over but she is winning and in her own words she says “I kicked cancer’s ass twice! All before I was even 18!”

So on this year’s trip I am thinking about my brother and I am also thinking of the survivors and I sincerely believe that through the efforts of this small group there will be more survivors.

Chris McGahey


Charlene waiting for the lock to open.

Mary Lynn waits as well.

All ready to leave Merrickville.

We approach Burritts Rapids.

Doug arrives at Burritts Rapids Lock with his water lilies.

The lunch line begins.

Micheline and Marion serve the soup.
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Group 2012

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