In 1999, Carrie Walker-Boyd learned she had stage 4B Hodgkin lymphoma, a blood system cancer diagnosed in an estimated 1,000 Canadians yearly. Initially, Carrie was relieved. She finally knew what was going on in her body.

Diagnosed at only 26, Carrie quit her new job to undergo treatment but wanted to keep busy. With a Canadian Cancer Society office around the corner from her house, Carrie walked in to get information about Hodgkin lymphoma and walked out with a new opportunity: a volunteer role requiring only a few hours a week, in a warm and welcoming environment that lifted her spirits between treatments.

“Volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society opened my eyes to just how much work they do for people fighting cancer,” remarks Carrie. “The stem cell transplant I underwent as part of my treatment was a result of research funded by the Society. I’m a strong supporter of their fundraising events as I know firsthand what type of impact the money raised can have.”

That same year, Carrie attended her first Relay For Life event in her community. She was so moved the event, by the end of the night, Carrie had signed up to participate and volunteer for the following year’s Relay.

“What I enjoy most about being on the Relay For Life committee is that everyone is there for the same purpose — to fight cancer and ensure the event is a success,” says Carrie. “Several of us have been affected by cancer in one way or another. The better we make the event, the more people we will draw in and the more donations we can collect.”