That's why it was important for MacDonald’s daughter, Ellen Suttle, to be part of raising money for cancer research. Together, they would travel to larger towns and city centres to take part in Relay for Life events, said Suttle.
“I would bring mom and other elderly women but they were so cold and tired,” the East Green Harbour woman said. “I thought, 'if only we had one closer'.”
That was how the YOLO - You Only Live Once - event was born.
The fundraiser for cancer research and support programs is now heading into its fifth year that will take place on June 9 at the Seacap Park in Lockeport from 6-10 p.m.
Suttle said the event is moving and can provide comfort and inspiration for those who are fighting cancer of who have lost a loved one.
People are asked to form teams and raise money before the event. Last year, there were 12 teams registered and Suttle hopes to see even more participate this year. Over the past four years, the event has raised $57,463.97.
The decision not to have the event run all night was a conscious one, said Suttle. She wanted to make it easier for people still battling cancer or older people to participate.
Similar to Relay for Life, participants can purchase luminaries to honour survivors and remember those who passed away due to cancer. Luminaries can be purchased in Lockeport stores leading up to the event.
This year, Suttle will light a luminary for her mother, who lost her battle to cancer.
“It’s a way to remember loved ones and to call attention to the disease,” she said. “It’s affected everyone. This is held to make sure cancer research gets funded so that there will be a cure for cancer."
YOLO in a snapshot:
• 7 p.m. - Official opening, which includes the survivor’s walk and speeches.
• 8 p.m. - Hope floats bubble walk in memory of Vicky Huskilson
• 9 p.m. - Lighting of the luminaries and a prayer for survivors and for those who have passed away.
• 9:30 p.m. - A lighted walk with glow sticks