You are here

Johnson saluted for cancer work

    Well-known community volunteer and cancer activist Nadine Johnson recently received recognition for her extensive efforts towards the fight against cancer.    Johnson was nominated for the local employee recognition award by her fellow co-workers at the Fort Frances Jail, where she is a well respected cook.  Both Johnson and jail guard Lauren McCoy received recognition at the local level and then were nominated at the regional level as well.     On June 6, 2007 Johnson and a friend traveled to Orillia where she was presented with the community relations award for the northern region of Ontario. Only one other employee from the Fort Frances Jail has ever received regional recognition in the jail’s 100 years of existence.     “We nominated Nadine for the award because we are all very proud of all her hard-work, she is very dedicated to this community and the cause,” Teresa Dobransky said.      Over the years, Johnson has helped to raise thousands of dollars for the cause. Through several different events she has pioneered.     Johnson started with “Canoe for Cancer” in 1983, in honour of her mother, who at the time was terminally ill from cancer. From ’83 on, she continued the tradition off-and-on for five years. A group would canoe from Mine Centre to Fort Frances to raise funds for early cancer research.     In 1999, the group reunited for the trek one last time because of the request by close friend Maryellen Crowe who was terminally ill with cancer and who later succumb to the disease.     “It was really fun and I had a great time organizing it,” she noted.    Also on her lengthy roster is the well-recognized and supported “Curl for Cancer”—a friendly bonspiel that has run for the past eight winters at the Fort Frances Curling Club.    “I’m always the first there and the last to leave,” she laughed.    As well, Johnson keeps busy volunteering her time to drive sick patients to their doctors appointments within town or out of town, as part of the Volunteer Driver program, a partnership between the Canadian Cancer Society and the Community Living Fort Frances and District.     “I enjoy driving the patients around because I get to know them and hope I can brighten their lives a little bit,” she said.       For her, though, it’s not about the recognition for her efforts—it’s about helping others through rough times.    “It can be very overwhelming and heartwarming at times,” she explained. “I know that people who are sick feel a bit better when they see people are there to help them or make them laugh,” she added. “That’s what it’s all about for me.”    And just last month, Johnson announced that the local “Relay for Life” raised $50,000 for cancer research.     “She’s just so dedicated and talented at organizing things, multi-tasking, and everyone loves her,” Dobransky said.    In the past two-years that Johnson has headed-up the “Relay,” it has raised a grand total of $123,000.    “I couldn’t have done it without the help of our community. They are extremely giving,” she said.    “It also helps that everyone knows her and she has a great personality,” Dobransky commented.     For Johnson, her work to raise funds to help find a cure for cancer isn’t considered work at all—it’s something she lives to do.     “I’m going to continue doing this and hopefully with every year, less and less people will be affected by cancer,” she noted. “Hopefully, one day we will find a cure.”

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Pinterest icon
Reddit icon
e-mail icon