PICTOU — It was nothing but smiles and laughs at the former Pressroom on Sunday morning for the annual Walk With Reese.
The event began five years ago to help raise awareness for the need for stem cell donors in hopes that Reese Hawkins would be able to find one to combat her leukemia. Five years later and Reese, now of school age, has medically been declared cured, yet the attendance for the event was as strong as ever.
“It really means the world to us that we live in such a wonderful community,” said Kora Hanrahan, Reese’s mother.
She noted that despite the fact that this was the third benefit this weekend in Pictou alone, they still had great numbers for participation.
“The feeling was very much a festive feeling today,” she said.
Hanrahan said that as Reese gets older, she has started to realize the impact that her story and the event in her honour has.
“She understands that everything we’re doing is in her honour,” she said. “She does realize that all of the fundraising we do is to help other people.”
She added that her daughter is also starting to realize just how serious everything she has been through was.
Trudy Dyer, fund development co-ordinator for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, noted that they are always impressed by the number of people that show up to small community events to support people.
“This kind of stuff really hits home for what we do,” she said. “The support from Pictou County is always amazing.”
She said the funds from events like the Walk With Reese all go to help patients in Nova Scotia as well as helping with research done in Halifax.
“We want to thank the community for everything they’ve done for us,” Hanrahan said. “We want to promise the community that we will pay it forward, for the rest of our lives.”
Participants in the Walk with Reese head to the Jitney Trail in Pictou on Sunday morning.