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Kelowna pins down support campaign for cancer survivors

Sherman and Nancy Weaver will celebrate Daffodil Month with a cruise. Nancy is a cancer survivor and Sherman lost his wife to cancer. The pair married last year and now volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society, a poster couple for the sentiment behind the campaign. - Jennifer Smith
Sherman and Nancy Weaver will celebrate Daffodil Month with a cruise. Nancy is a cancer survivor and Sherman lost his wife to cancer. The pair married last year and now volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society, a poster couple for the sentiment behind the campaign.
— image credit: Jennifer Smith

Sherman and Nancy Weaver have a lot to celebrate during the Canadian Cancer Society's Daffodil Month.

In April, as cancer survivors, their friends, family members and fellow Canadians don a daffodil pin in support of those battling cancer, the Weavers will head out on a transatlantic cruise to celebrate the first year of their life together. A happy, cancer-free existence.

"I had always wanted to try Dom Pérignon, so we bought a bottle and had half on our anniversary. And then we had the other half the next night," said Nancy. They're not big drinkers.

"And we're going on the cruise," added Sherman, admitting that was what he wanted out to do to mark the event—a happy one, after a life permanently altered by disease.

Sherman's first wife and Nancy both had breast cancer and met during treatment. Nancy won her battle; sadly, Sherman's wife did not.

As a widow and a cancer survivor, both Nancy and Sherman remained very active, continuing to bump into one another at the gym, bridge club and so forth. Eventually, the pair started seeing one another and that's when Sherman made the proposal.

Sherman wanted to help fight back against the cancer his wife was diagnosed with and started volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society after hearing the news. Though she passed away, he continued to volunteer extensively with the non-profit organization, writing a newsletter and helping in the office. When he started seeing Nancy, he proposed she take up the cause and volunteer to counsel others.

The particular form of breast cancer Nancy had is aggressive and uncommon and there are people across the country who she acts as a resource to, providing a living demonstration that cancer can be beat and a new chapter in life will begin.

"My greatest joy is when we finish our counselling, and their treatment is done and I find out they've come back as a volunteer too," she said.

Providing this hope and support and developing a network for those battling cancer to rely on is what Daffodil Month is all about for the society.

Ron Kuehl, CCS vice-president of the BC/Yukon branch, helped devise the daffodil campaign and said he is proud to watch this vision blossom across the nation.

In town for the launch of the campaign Thursday, he noted the daffodil was originally used by Lady Flora Eaton to decorate the tables during special teas she would hold in support of the organization in Toronto.

The Daffodil Month campaign has now grown to become the Canadian Cancer Society’s largest fundraising event. Money goes to fund promising research and important support services.

Cancer is the leading cause of premature death in Canada, though up to half of all cancers are preventable.

A pin locator with a complete listing of the businesses involved can be found on the campaign website. Information on further donations can also be found on the website.

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