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Relay for Life Updated

Mention the word Cancer and you would be hard pressed not to find someone with a story to share.


Mention the word Cancer and you would be hard pressed not to find someone with a story to share.

For some the story is of survival, for others a story of loss, but for Relay for Life honourary chairperson, Paige Shemilt, it is a story of celebrating life.

Shemilt was diagnosed with kidney cancer when she was just 4 years old and says she is living proof that cancer can be beaten.

The event was truly a family affair with several generations in a single family walking the survivors lap together. Doctor Rod Shemilt Sr., who travelled from Hamilton to participate this year, said he was overwhelmed by the event.

Lucile Pelletier set out to take the survivors lap full of emotion, memories and second chances.

"It brings back all memories but everybody is celebrating life here, you know it’s a second chance at life for them and this is what’s impressive,” Pelletier said.

And as she walks the track in the company of husband Lou, who is also a survivor, she can't help but reflect on their son Denis who lost his battle with the disease 10 years ago.

“Everybody is family here, they’re all smiling with their blue shirts on, and it’s like a big family gathering, everybody knows everybody’s loss and how they felt with the loss there,” Pelletier.

And with all the struggle and loss that Pelletier has endured, there is no remorse when taking the lap. In fact she states that the walk is a source of comfort for her.

“It gives me strength to think of Dennis and all the memories of him, and the joy we feel because we’re recovered. You know we are surviving," she says.

"When the diagnosis comes and the big 'C' is there it reminds us that death is imminent, but this is a second chance at life.”