Close to five years ago, Dan McNeil took his first fundraising steps, raising money and participating in Calgary’s Underwear Affair. After his wife, Shannon, was diagnosed with cancer in July 2013, the event suddenly hit much closer to home, and their fundraising team was renamed “Shannon’s Superheroes.” Last year, the team consisted of about 25 friends that raised around $24,000 for the Underwear Affair’s final year in Alberta. McNeil says the event had a great atmosphere, and organizers even had Shannon stand up on stage to present her with a medal.
Sadly, Shannon died in November 2014. Her legacy lives on through donations from Shannon’s Superheroes and, in 2015, they participated in the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon, where their donations included $10,000 from her estate. McNeil estimates that the total funds raised for the Alberta Cancer Foundation over the past few years is near $30,000. “I’ve got a very great circle and a lot of supporters,” he says.
Next Christmas, McNeil and a friend plan to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, also as a fundraising effort for the Alberta Cancer Foundation. This time they’re calling it “Summits for Shannon.”
“Shannon loved to travel and she instilled a lot of that in me,” McNeil says. “It’s something she’d like me to do.” He’s currently in talks with the Alberta Cancer Foundation to determine a fundraising goal and to organize the Summits for Shannon fundraising page.
McNeil doesn’t see an end to his fundraising efforts for the Alberta Cancer Foundation, and he knows how much it can actually help through first-hand experience. “It feels great doing it in the first place because you know you’re helping a cause,” he says.