Victoria's Relay for Life in jeopardy

Victoria’s Relay for Life in jeopardy

If there was one thing Ashley McKay learned from her grandmother, it was to treat everyone with respect.

If there was one thing Ashley McKay learned from her grandmother, it was to treat everyone with respect.

Her grandmother never had anything bad to say about anyone.

“She was the most caring individual that I’ve ever met. She was always there. She was always pushing us to go to school because she never got to go to school, pushing us to do what we wanted to do and do our best always,” said McKay, a Victoria resident.

Four years ago, her grandmother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and within a few weeks, passed away. Her death came as a shock to McKay’s family — her mother, father and sisters.

As a way of dealing with their grief, the family decided to participate in Victoria’s Relay for Life, an annual fundraiser where cancer survivors and families walk along a track and pass a baton to teammates. Money raised goes towards the Canadian Cancer Society to help fund cancer research, and provide services and support for families diagnosed with cancer on Vancouver Island.

“I originally started Relay as a way to grieve, as a way to put all of those feelings into something positive and meet other people in similar situations,” said the 26-year-old.

Since then, McKay has taken on a leadership role with the Relay for Life Victoria committee, planning the annual event.

This year, Relay for Life is entering its 17th year in Victoria. However, due to low participation numbers, the relay is in jeopardy of being cancelled.

Jan Buehler, with the Canadian Cancer Society, B.C. and Yukon, said numbers have been decreasing for the past six to seven years in B.C.

Buehler speculated the decrease could be due to competition from other fundraisers for causes that have a strong activity component.

“It will be very sad because it’s a long-standing event in the community. Even for staff and everybody, it’s a nice place to get together when you’ve been affected and touched by cancer because everyone understands and it’s such a devastating disease,” she said, adding they’ll have to find another way to fundraise for the society if the event is cancelled.

“We’re absolutely dedicated to providing support services to people on the Island.”

Last week, the society hosted an awareness event on the lawns of the B.C. legislature to encourage people to sign up.

So far, there are 68 people registered. Organizers need roughly 150 participants or the race will be cancelled.

Relay for Life takes place on Friday, June 24 at Centennial Stadium at the University of Victoria at 6 p.m.

For more information or to register visit convio.cancer.ca/.

 

 

 

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

Just Posted

Sooke resident Lesa Cro started up a new pet waste removal business. Cro goes to yards in the region, removes all of the waste and then composts it, so that it doesn’t go into landfills. (Dawn Gibson/News Staff)
New pet poop-scooping business picks up in Sooke

Poop No More service taking the ‘dirty work’ out of lawn cleaning

Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, is the Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. (Photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos)
Oak Bay local Lachlan Kratz (red, middle) has signed with pro rugby team NOLO Gold in Louisiana. (Contributed photo)
Oak Bay local signs with pro rugby team

Lachlan Kratz at 21 is now NOLO Gold’s youngest member

A micro brewery is being eyed for Jordan River. However, the site where the brewery is proposed still needs to go through the rezoning process. (Black Press Media file)
Micro brewery proposed for Jordan River

Jordan River Brewing Company envisions to build wholesale, sit-in brewery along Highway 14

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Most Read