A cancer diagnosis can be made even more challenging when travel is required just to receive treatment. For those living in Drayton Valley, having a community cancer centre where locals can receive treatment, without leaving town, is important. Locals held two fundraising events recently, supporting the role of the local centre in the community.
In June, Kerrie-Ann Lemermeyer organized St. Anthony School’s second Shave to Save event. Lemermeyer first organized the event in 2009 in honour of her mother, who died from bladder cancer. She says students have been requesting another head shave since then.
“I challenged staff and students to raise $5,000 and for at least 10 people to shave their heads or cut and donate their hair, in order for me to shave my hair off,” says Lemermeyer. Sixteen students and two parents shaved their heads and another six students cut their long locks to donate to making wigs for cancer patients suffering hair loss, raising a total of $17,700 for the Alberta Cancer Foundation in support of the Drayton Valley Community Cancer Centre.
Members of the Drayton Valley 4-H Beef Interclub took a less conventional approach to their fundraising efforts, raising cash for cancer while raising a steer. For the past few years the group, whose 50 members are from the Lin-Berry-Buck, Two Rivers and Lobstick 4-H clubs, have raised a steer and then raffled it off for charity. This year, the money raised was donated to the Drayton Valley Community Cancer Centre.
The 4-H members range in age from nine to 20 years old, and many, says Two River’s club leader Tanya Hines, have had family and friends affected by cancer. They’ve also seen their loved ones who have cancer stay closer to home, receiving treatment in Drayton Valley.
More than $6,000 was raised through the sale of $10 raffle tickets for the steer. “The group wanted to help people within their community and make the burden of going through cancer treatments easier for them,” says Hines, who works as a chemotherapy nurse at the cancer centre.