Chelsey and Judy Murday, seen here at the 2016 Relay For Life, have been participating at the event nearly two decades. Photo supplied.

Comox Valley Relay For Life a multi-generational affair for some families

Dave Flawse

Special to The Record

Chelsey Murday was just three years old when she walked the track for the first time at Relay for Life. Her mother, Judy Murday, must have passed off some of her fundraising spirit because 16 years later they’re both still in the event.

The mother and daughter say there is a history of cancer in the family. Judy lost a sister to cancer three years ago.

Judy says she volunteers “so that somebody else doesn’t lose a family member in the future.”

Both are team captains and committee members with Relay for Life. They help organize the event and walk the eight-hour relay.

RELATED: Registration ongoing for 17th Comox Valley Relay for Life

Volunteering isn’t just for the women of the family.

“He’s there every time,” says Judy of her husband. “He helps tear down and set up.”

Judy’s two older sons participated on her WestJet team until they both moved to Calgary.

Three years ago, Chelsey shaved her head at the event to help raise money for cancer research. She raised over $1,500, more than doubling her minimum goal.

As a WestJet employee, Judy volunteers on the Relay for Life committee to meet the 40-hour minimum for WestJet’s Gift of Flight program. The flight giveaway is part of a raffle for the event but “it’s probably going to be the last year,” says Judy.

WestJet’s new policy is to not include the taxes and fees in the flight giveaway, but BC Gaming Commission requires winners to pay nothing extra for prizes.

“Other provinces don’t have this law,” says Judy. “A lot of charities raise a lot of money using WestJet tickets.”

It’s Chelsey’s first year on the committee.

“They make me do the posters,” says the teenager. “Because I can figure out the computers.”

Everyone in this world is touched by cancer in some way, says Judy. Given her family history, she is concerned about being diagnosed with cancer but remains optimistic.

“It’s more survivable now even from five years ago.”

Her and Chelsey’s efforts to raise money for cancer research are part of that increased survivability.

With approximately 100,000 participants, Relay for Life makes the biggest impact against cancer nationwide. The Comox Valley event takes place at the Vanier track on June 15 from 4 p.m. to midnight.

As of June 3, the Comox Valley Relay For Life had raised 54 per cent of its $35,000 goal for 2019.

To register a team, or to donate to the cause, visit https://bit.ly/2WrqhgY

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