Comox Valley resident Brenda Murray knows what a glass half full perspective looks like.
She, along with her family and granddaughter Jade Hansen, understand the power of positive thinking when a family member battles cancer, not once, but twice.
And because of that, she believes a positive perspective should not be brought down by financial worries.
“The support and resources in the Valley are second to none. The cancer ward (at St. Joseph’s Hospital) is unbelievable. But what we found is throughout our journey, many people aren’t covered for certain things like travel, anti-nausea medication and need funds just to pay basic bills.”
Murray explained her husband, known to family and friends as ‘Turtle,’ battled cancer not once, but twice, and was declared cancer-free four weeks ago.
“When cancer touches your life, it’s very difficult. We know someone who is self-employed and has cancer, and can’t afford her home,” said Murray. “After going through a family crisis, you think about other people and how this is affecting them financially?”
Murray, along with Hansen, have organized an inaugural cancer fundraiser April 11 with the help of Tim Haley and Anna McElwain at Simply Timeless on 4th Street in Courtenay.
With a goal of $5,000, Murray said she hopes to make the event an annual one, and create an ongoing local fund accessible for adults and families dealing with cancer in the Comox Valley — an adult version of You Are Not Alone. The funds raised at this year’s event will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.
“(Papa) always looked at the bright side but never showed what was going on,” explained Hansen about her grandfather. “I was really shocked and upset the first time, (and the second time) I was really surprised and upset, but I knew a bit more how to handle it.”
There’s fear, but the state of mind is paramount to recovery, added Murray.
“There is a need for support, and to know there is something available. If you can’t take an anti-nausea drug in Canada (because you can’t afford it), what has happened to the state of health care?”
Murray said she wanted to do something to give back to the community, and put her head together with her friends Haley and McElwain, who have also had family members affected by cancer.
The Pink Ribbon of Hope Gala fundraiser will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature a silent auction with pieces including a pencil signed lithography by Salvador Dali and jewelry, along with musical entertainment and food; Murray and Hansen will be selling pink cancer bracelets.
For more information contact Simply Timeless at 250-871-0606