Prior to 1992, I hadn’t heard much about this disease called ‘CANCER’ as it hadn’t personally affected my life.

However, this changed when my father was diagnosed with nasopharnyx cancer.

I was devastated by the news and worried about the outcome but I wanted to be strong and supportive for him during this frightening time.

When my father was battling cancer, I became much more aware of how many people I knew who had loved ones that were affected by this disease.

As my father went through the radiation treatments, it was difficult to watch the changes in him – weight loss, pain walking up the stairs and loss of his taste buds. He still insisted on doing the cooking but I remember him asking us to taste test his soup because he worried that his loss of taste buds caused him to over salt it.

After rounds of treatments, I was overjoyed when my father went into remission and was on the road to recovery.  He had been in remission for a year when he was diagnosed with liver cancer. The prognosis wasn’t good and my father decided to forgo chemotherapy and enjoy, as much as he could, the remaining time he had.

My father passed away in July 1994 which was a great loss to my family.

The first time I attended the Relay For Life was in Kitchener-Waterloo in 2000. The atmosphere was very inspirational. The next year my younger sister began volunteering for the Canadian Cancer Society and I continued to participate in the Relay.

After 13 years, I have continued to be part of the Relay in memory of my father, who is greatly missed, and to honour the loved ones of friends and family who passed away so young and those that continue to courageously fight on.

The Super Karate Monkeys team has evolved over the years and I am proud to be a member. We have conducted many fundraising efforts – online asks to friends and family, our annual garage sale, Games Night and this year, a fun and lively Zumba class.

My fundraising efforts are my small contribution towards eradicating this disease so that others will not have to go through the experience of losing a loved one.