Bonds ga­lore at Re­lay

The Glengarry News - - Student Voice - BY STEVEN WARBURTON News Staff

For the past 30 years, Doug Gray has been con­duct­ing lung can­cer re­search at the Ot­tawa Hos­pi­tal. Since much of his fund­ing comes from the Cana­dian Can­cer So­ci­ety, he de­cided to at­tend the Re­lay for Life in Maxville on Fri­day evening to see how a lot of the money is raised.

Dr. Gray – who is quick to point out that he is not a med­i­cal doc­tor even though he does have a PhD – con­fessed that the event would be an emo­tional one for him, par­tic­u­larly the an­nual lu­mi­nary cer­e­mony that takes place af­ter sun­set. In that cer­e­mony, re­lay par­tic­i­pants re­mem­ber friends or fam­ily mem­bers who suc­cumbed to can­cer by writing their names on small white pa­per bags and plac­ing a lu­mi­nary in­side. Once darkness has fallen, the lit bags around the preime­ter of the Maxville Fair­gounds track look positively church­like.

It was emo­tional for Dr. Gray as both his mother and father passed away of lung and pros­trate can­cer re­spec­tively.

Dur­ing a brief scrum with reporters on Fri­day, Dr. Gray said that while the disease has not yet been con­quered, re­searchers are mak­ing great strides. As an ex­am­ple, he told a story of the mother of his daugh­ter’s friend, who had skin can­cer that mi­grated to her brain.

“It used to be a lethal form of can­cer,” he says. “She was put on trial for a new drug and she lived an extra seven years. She was even able to see her daugh­ter grad­u­ate high school and univer­sity.”

Dr. Gray says that lung can­cer is one of the tough­est can­cers to beat, though he adds that the Ot­tawa re­search fa­cil­ity is at the fore­front of can­cer re­search in the coun­try.

Bond theme

This year’s edi­tion of the Re­lay for Life at­tracted about 250 peo­ple and raised $73,000. Allison St-Jean, Com­mu­nity Fundrais­ing Spe­cial­ist with the Cana­dian Can­cer So­ci­ety, says that amount ex­ceeded this year’s fundrais­ing goal.

The so­ci­ety had adopted a James Bond theme for the re­lay’s 19th year in Maxville. Sev­eral of the teams did their best to in­cor­po­rate 007 im­agery into their stay. For some it was cre­at­ing a poster, oth­ers wore tuxedo-printed Tshirts and oth­ers even brought play­ing cards as an homage to Bond’s suc­cess at the gam­bling ta­ble.

STEVEN WARBURTON PHOTO

SUR­VIVORS’ LAP: The sur­vivors’ lap is al­ways a highlight of the Cana­dian Can­cer So­ci­ety’s Re­lay for Life, which took place in Maxville on Fri­day evening. Some of the lap’s par­tic­i­pants had beaten can­cer more than once.

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