Participants in last year’s Moving Mountains hike stop for a quick photo at the Gowlland Todd Provincial Park check point. The hikers are gearing up to tackle three of the region’s highest peaks this weekend while raising money for local families dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

Groups teaming up to help those battling cancer

Annual tribute hike goes this Saturday after pasta fundraiser night

This weekend a local group is hoping to move mountains while raising funds and hope for individuals with cancer.

The Shared Hope Society and Moving Mountains are gearing up to eat some pasta and tackle three of the region’s highest peaks this weekend, all while raising as much money as possible to give to three local families that are dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

“It’s a passion – a lot of us are driven because we have our own experiences,” said Nicole Cushing, Shared Hope founder.

She nodded to Langford resident Shane Flamand. Back in 2013, he created Moving Mountains to hike the three largest peaks in Victoria to raise funds for his nephew, Zack Downey, who was battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Now being run in tribute to the late Langford teen and in its fourth year, this annual hike covers 27 kilometres through Mt. Finlayson, Jocelyn Hill and Mt. Work, and takes approximately 10 to 12 hours to complete.

The Shared Hope Society is an incorporated non-profit with the mission of enhancing hope and dignity by providing help for non-medical expenses and education funding to those affected by cancer. When many families have a member diagnosed with cancer, Cushing noted, often “you start trimming the fat (financially) and you don’t do the little extras, the fun things.”

The society helps by providing gift cards or cash to help with Christmas gifts, movie passes, a special dinner, a fun night out or whatever that special thing may be. “They get to do that little thing that brings them joy,” she said.

This year the two organizations joined together for a shared purpose. “We were looking for new members and they were looking to start a non-profit,” Cushing said, adding it was a perfect match. “It’s been amazing.”

Over the summer months they conducted a series of smaller hikes and walks, with all of the proceeds going directly to local families affected by cancer. “It’s been really well received,” she said, and plans are in the works to continue next summer.

“I’m not a hiker and they’ve got me doing it,” Cushing noted, clarifying that the Moving Mountains hike is still out of her skill range. “That’s actually part of the reason I decided to start the pasta night,” she said.

This is the first year the Moving Mountains hike will follow a special family-friendly pasta night, happening tonight (Nov. 18) in Langford. While it gives the hikers a chance to fuel up for the big day, she said, it also gives their family members and other community members a chance to get involved. “It’s an affordable night out for families.” Dinner, which includes a meat or vegetarian option, is by donation and non-alcoholic beverages are also available for purchase.

Proceeds from this weekend’s events will go to three recipients identified by the Society, including a young mother of three recovering from stomach cancer, a university student receiving treatment for stage 3B melanoma and a three-year-old girl with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. “We feel really grateful we’re able to give to three people, but there’s so many more in the community,” Cushing said.

With events and the society completely run by volunteers, they’ve been able to keep their overhead minimal and make sure more money ends up in the hands of those that need the pick-me-up. The summer hikes? “Those don’t cost us anything (to put on) but our time.”

Community support, with a local church providing the venue and Thrifty Foods helping out with the pasta night, allows them to keep their costs down, Cushing said. “We’re hoping to raise as much money as we can to give to the recipients and give them a helping hand just before Christmas.”

The Moving Mountains Pasta Night takes place tonight at The Forge Church, 2612 Sooke Rd., with doors opening at 6 p.m. Admission is a suggested minimum donation of $5 per person. The Moving Mountains hike starts this Saturday at 7 a.m. but is only for experienced hikers. Hikers can register by emailing sharedhopesociety@gmail.com.

For more information on these events or the society, go to sharedhopesociety.com.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Woman comes home to ‘entirely different’ Victoria after cruise ship, military base quarantine

Melanie Sibbitt booked herself a last-minute vacation on a cruise ship hit by COVID-19

COVID-19: Victoria moves homeless into 35 hotel rooms across the city

Mayor pleads with residents to stay inside during pandemic

Victoria brewery uses 3D-printer to make face shields for health care workers

Phillips Brewing is teaming up with engineers to create single-use medical equipment

Wheelchair user asks people to leave space on sidewalks to socially distance

Wendy Cox says many people are not stepping off the sidewalk to allow her space

Victoria street nurse thanks public for outpouring of donations

Businesses and individuals donated gloves, masks, sanitizers and more to frontline workers

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Most Read