Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Feb. 23


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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney






(Posted 7:30 a.m., May 5)
Cairine Wilson Relay4Life raises over $50,000 for cancer research

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Cancer survivor Monica Baker is joined by her niece Carly Huismann and nephew Martin Huismann during the opening lap of the Cairine Wilson Secondary School Relay4Life event on Friday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

More than 350 students, staff and parents from Carine Wilson Secondary School gathered at the Navan Fairgrounds on Friday to take part in a 12-hour "Relay4Life" event, capping off a six week campaign that raised over $50,000.

The ninth annual event was held at the fairgrounds in honour of former Navan resident Hannah Billings who was the inspiration behind the very first CW "Relay4Life" after she succumbed to cancer in 2006 at the age of nine.

As in past years, this year's Relay4Life was kicked off with an opening ceremony honouring local cancer survivors including former CJOH anchor Max Keeping who put the students fundraising efforts in perspective.

"Last year you raised $46,000. That $46.000 went into $400,000 that went to Dr. Robert Bell to fund human trials of a virus that kills other cancer viruses. The clinical trials were started in California and are now moving up to Ottawa and its the money you raised that helped in developing this clinical trial," said Keeping. "So you are making a difference and you will continue to make a difference."

Fellow cancer survivor Monica Baker addressed the students for the fifth year in row since she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

"Five years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer, they told me I had a 20 per cent chance of living five years and here I am," said Baker who is about to begin another round of chemotherapy treatments on Monday. "My goal was to see my two daughters graduate from high school my eldest daughter graduated last year and my youngest daughter will graduate next year."

A self-professed Guinea Pig, Baker took part in a clinical trial that temporarily arrested her cancer for 16 months before it came back "with a vengeance". She's currently waiting to take part in another trial that has reversed cancers in a number of subjects.

"I go on these clinical trials to make a difference and because I have nothing to lose and everything to gain not just for myself but for future patients who might one day benefit it," said Baker, whose niece and nephew attend Cairine Wilson.

The students were divided into teams of five to 10 members. Some wore costumes fitting this year's theme which was "Fighting Cancer One Decade At A Time."

For the second year in a row, Kelly McGruer took home top prize for raising the most amount of money with contributions totalling $2,980, while "The Ancient Greeks" won the team award with $5,152.75 in contributions, besting the amount they raised last year by $800.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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Posted Jan. 12

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