Relay proves no one faces cancer alone

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Relay For Life Team May’s Girls and Boys, front, William MacKenzie. Back row, Ferne Langille, Ellen Richardson and Roxanne MacKenzie.
(Livingstone photo)

Pictou County Relay for Life on Saturday brought family and friends together to celebrate loved ones and survivors of cancer.

Hundreds gathered to remember and to share memories and struggles, the good times and the not so good times. Each with their own personal story. Some were eager to share, some sat quietly thinking, others busily preparing for the upcoming evening events. Upbeat music played in the background providing a slight distraction, or merely a means to make the day easier.

Sitting together quietly were four members of May’s Girls and Boys, children of May MacKenzie. May MacKenzie passed away due to lymphoma stomach cancer in June 2011. Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system tissue that may start anywhere lymph tissues are found, including the stomach. Lymphomas in the stomach are rare and only account for about four per cent of all stomach cancers.

MacKenzie’s battle was that of a strong woman with a courageous heart and love for her family. Ferne Langille one of MacKenzie’s 10 children — seven girls, and three boys — with the help and guidance of her brother and sisters, spoke a bit about their mom.

“This is a family day, and we do the relay for our mom; we have been relaying for over seven years,” Langille smiled. “We appreciated the help from The lodge that Gives in Halifax; they helped us through some difficult times.” The Canadian Cancer Society’s Lodge That Gives provides accommodations free-of-charge for those who live outside of Halifax while they undergo cancer treatment.

Pictou County Relay For Life was held at the North Nova Education Centre sports field. Survivors gathered for a reception, courtesy of Tim Hortons, with entertainment from Pierre and Katey Aucoin. At 5 p.m., the survivor’s victory lap began. Survivors walk to the main stage area where Ann MacGregor of Mix 94.1 started the opening ceremonies. She was joined with remarks from Central Nova MP Sean Fraser, New Glasgow Mayor Nancy Dicks, Canadian Cancer Society’s development office Jill Meyers and 2019 Relay for Life Community Champion Kevin Scott.

The main stage featured live entertainment consisting of, High Diving Act, Randy Swallow, Pat Spaulding, Inner Voice, and Dinosaur Neil. The day ended with closing ceremonies and the announcement of the unofficial total raised — $52,000.