Van Reeuwyk: Cancer tops Oprah, Obama and Bacon

It can take up to six degrees to connect to Bacon; most people can link to cancer in one foul swoop.

Cancer clobbers both Oprah and Obama in a Google fight.

It’s more powerful than Kevin Bacon.

It can take up to six degrees to connect to Bacon; most people can link to cancer in one foul swoop.

The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a 1990s trivia-type game where any actor can be linked through film roles to fellow actor Bacon within six steps.

If cancer had an equation like the game about the Footloose star, I would need only a single step. So would most people I know.

There’s a one-in-three chance of developing cancer on this planet – dicey odds – and it’s not a surprise that most people are linked by a loved one and, at the most, by a friend of a friend.

In the game of cancer research I’m also a one – separated by only one degree in a pair of cancer research fundraisers. When Tour de Rock rolls into Sidney on Oct. 6, fellow Black Press employee Chris Bush, a photographer for the Nanaimo News Bulletin, will be among the spandex-wearing riders.

Technically, I think my second connection is twice as strong, or is that half? I’m not sure since it involves my twin cousins.

At family gatherings it takes a few minutes to decipher which twin is Marika, which is Simone. Noting their outfits helps; at 21 each twin is definitely an individual, they don’t even attend the same post-secondary institution, but recently they spent a weekend cycling together. Marika and Simone, a pair of former competitive swimmers who haven’t hopped on a bike since childhood, cycled from Vancouver to Seattle in The Ride to Conquer Cancer, in memory of their mother. The twins are part of an inspiring tale of hope amid the devastation of cancer.

They were just four years old when their mom, my Aunty Diana, lost her two-year battle with liver cancer in September 1994.

They have only fleeting memories of her: a trip to visit relatives in Singapore and her glowing smile. But she planned ahead for her children, leaving behind VHS tapes and photo albums, plus her memory in others who knew her. But their cancer connection doesn’t end there. Years later, another family close to theirs lost their father to a brain tumour.

The similarities brought the two families close.

Their parents formed a bond, married and added a ninth sibling to the family.

It says something that two 20-something university students were willing to dedicate all that time in training, and the oh-so-valuable June weekend, to cycling for cancer research.

The sad truth is that the youth of today know the illness better than my generation ever did.

I didn’t deal with cancer until I lost my uncle and then my grandfather when I was 15.

At just eight-years-old, Kynan Smith will be among those needing toques this fall after shaving his head as the Tour de Rock wraps in Centennial Square in downtown Victoria.

The KELSET elementary student just wanted to help other kids and the odds are he won’t be alone; he may not even be the youngest.

The funds raised by Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock go to pediatric cancer research and programs for children with a history of cancer.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer benefits the B.C. Cancer Foundation with the goal to “accelerate the conquest of cancer.”

In other words they’d like “cure” to beat “cancer” in a Google fight.

Christin van Reeuwyk is a reporter with the Peninsula News Review

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

A sketch of the multi-use path that will connect Lagoon Beach and Royal Beach in Colwood. (Sketch courtesy of the City of Colwood)
Concepts for Colwood beach connector coming to council June 21

Major infrastructure project includes gathering places, public amenities and pathways

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read