A KITSUMKALUM Relay for Life team gave tribute to a woman who was dear to a team member last weekend.
Tracy Sam organized the Funrazor Shave for the Brave to help raise awareness for cancer with her relay team Spirit of the Stein, named in honour of the Stein Valley, which commemorates the area in which the late Rita McKay, Sam’s aunt, lived.
“We originally signed up twelve people from the Kitsumkalum community to participate in shaving their heads and we ended up having 37 people shave their noggins for this cause. We raised $2,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society and had close to one pound of hair to donate,” says Sam.
“My motivation to raise awareness was my Aunt Rita McKay who was diagnosed with cancer in October and by November 30th she had passed,” she says.
“The aim was to bring members together to celebrate cancer survivors and remember those we have lost to cancer. The importance of this within our community was apparent with the level of participation we had over the weekend,” says participant Andrea Sam.
“It was a first fundraiser around cancer awareness for Kitsumkalum that I have been a part of. It was a truly amazing experience as each participant has their own story on how cancer has affected their lives but we were all here for the same reason, I hope we undertake this every year in honoring the brave,” says community member Jenniefer Bolton.
Canadian Cancer relay representative, Laurie Myer Neids says, “It is individuals like Tracy Sam who demonstrate this incredible level of passion and drive and are the reason that our mission is possible. It was empowering to see so many people participate in the head shaving. It is one way to bring awareness to our cause and it also gave people the ability to honour their loved ones who have been touched by cancer.”