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‘Blessed’ family celebrates survival

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Sherry Loveday believes her family is blessed.

Her father, mother, and daughter were all diagnosed with cancer within the last 10 years. All three had different types of cancer—and all three are in an excellent state of health today.

“It’s hard to find adequate words to say how blessed we are having these three survivors in our family,” Loveday said.

All four of them will be walking in the local Canadian Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” later this month to raise money for a cure and “to celebrate the survival of our loved ones.”

The relay will take place June 27-28 this year at Pither’s Point Park. Opening ceremonies will be at 6:30 p.m. on the Friday, with the “Survivors’ Victory Lap” going at 7.

The relay itself then will continue until 7 a.m. on Saturday, complete with entertainment all night for the participants and community.

The luminary ceremony is another important part of the evening. Luminaries are candles set in bags that carry the names of cancer survivors and loved ones.

They are placed around the track at Pither’s Point and are lit after sunset in memory of those who have struggled with cancer.

Luminaries are available at Pharmasave, Tagg’s Source for Sports, the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce office, and La Place Rendez-Vous. They are also available at Tompkins Hardware in Emo and KGB Sports in Rainy River.

Loveday says the “victory lap”—a chance for cancer survivors to celebrate their success against the disease and to give hope to others—is her favourite part of the event.

Last year, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gaston Godbout of Crozier, both in their 70s, participated in the lap. “I cried,” Loveday said.

They will participate again this year, along with Loveday’s daughter who struggled with thyroid cancer—and beat it. She is now in her 30s and married with two children, and another on the way.

Loveday has named the team “Godbout Lumberjacks” after her father, who is a retired logger. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer about five years ago.

One year later, his wife was diagnosed with malignant melanoma on her neck. “They caught it very early,” said Loveday. “She’s very lucky.”

All are doing well now—and are looking forward to the annual “Relay for Life” at the end of the month.

“Running for cancer is a very worthy cause, and it’s fun,” Loveday said.

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