Barb Gagnon has survived cancer four times, and lost many family members to the disease. Black Press file photo

Four-time cancer survivor again organizes Princeton Terry Fox Run

Some people beat cancer. And some people beat it with a stick.

Barb Gagnon, a four-time cancer survivor, feels she’s been given an “incredible gift” and it’s her responsibility to give back.

The Princeton woman, along with a team mate, has raised approximately $100,000 for cancer research and support through events like The Terry Fox Run and The Weekend to End Breast Cancer.

“If I am here I figure I bloody well better do something.”

Sunday Gagnon will once again be running the local Terry Fox Run, and she’s enthusiastic about how much money Princeton can contribute.

Last weekend a golf tournament and bra and toonie auction raised nearly $5,000 to get the ball rolling.

“It just shows the impact that Terry has made and how affected people are by cancer. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to anybody who hasn’t either had it or had someone in their family who has had it.”

Gagnon lost two sisters to cancer – in fact all three women fought cancer at the same time – and her brother is a cancer survivor.

She has been treated for kidney cancer, skin cancer, and breast cancer twice.

Three years ago she managed to organize the town’s Terry Fox Run while recovering from a mastectomy, and attended the event just out of hospital, attached to various tubes and machines.

Next week Gagnon will travel to Abbotsford to participate in a cancer heredity study.

“They are looking to see if I carry a certain gene they have marked as cancer causing…I have so many cousins who have survived or died from cancer.”

She was part of a similar study nearly 20 years ago.

“They have made so many strides with the study that they want to open it up again. I’ll be going to the cancer clinic with my great niece who just went through cancer surgery. Her brother is in England and he just went through surgery for a very rare form of cancer they can’t treat in Canada.”

Registration for Sunday’s event begins at 10 a.m. in Veteran’s Square and the run starts at 11. Ian Elko will provide music for the runners and volunteers, and there will be a barbecue sponsored by Save On Foods.

Gagnon hopes for 100 participants, and stressed there is no required minimum donation and no required course completion.

“You can give as little as 50 cents and you can walk as little as a block…We are hoping that people come out with their walkers and their bicycles, their skateboards, their horses, their dogs and their strollers with babies.”

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andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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