EDITORIAL: Cancer stories keep on coming

Dreaded disease particularly devastating when it affects the young

Whether you’re young or old, rich or poor, or belong to one ethnic group or another, it’s pretty much certain you’ve been touched by cancer. It forces us to take a deep breath, wonder what the future holds and walk gingerly toward it, hoping for a positive outcome.

Hitting hardest, though, are cancers affecting young people around us.

West Shore residents are likely familiar with the stories of Langford’s Zack Downey and Hannah Day, each of whom faced their own battle with the disease.

Sadly Zack, an outstanding athlete who dreamed of one day playing college baseball, lost his fight at 18 against non-Hodgkins lymphoma last month. Mourners at his memorial last week told of how he kept a positive outlook virtually until the end.

The personal stories of Zack were both sad and inspiring. No doubt the more than 1,000 people at The Q Centre would rather have been celebrating some athletic exploit than the too-short life of a fine young man.

Four-year-old Hannah, whose up-and-down state of health has put her parents and those close to the Day family through a roller coaster of emotions, appears to be on the upswing again as she receives treatment for childhood leukemia. We hope for the best and continually improving health.

Those among the healthy who would fight this emotionally draining disease are out virtually all the time in our communities. Their activities range from pink ribbon month targeting breast cancer to the Walk for Dads to support prostate cancer patients and research into a cure.

West Shore RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve Wright, a rider in the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock this fall, had a fundraiser last week. He was joined by two brave souls who had their heads shaved for the cause, which is helping get kids with cancer to Camp Goodtimes.

Cancer sucks any time, but especially when it strikes our children. You may wish to try imagining how the Downey and Day families have felt in recent months when you’re considering where to put your money this year.

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