It’s a chance to enjoy some curling rink camaraderie but Curl for Cancer carries a deeper meaning for club members who have had their lives touched by the disease.
Wolfville Curling Club member Charlie Wood of Port Williams knows all too well what it’s like to lose a loved one to cancer.
His daughter, Pamelia Wood, had a long battle with the disease and passed away just after Christmas. He said healthcare professionals had difficulty accurately diagnosing what form of cancer it was and some of the treatments she received were experimental.
“They tried everything, they had some really good doctors doing it, but they just couldn’t get the type down to whatever it was,” Wood said.
Losing his daughter was an extremely difficult experience. For him, this further underscored the importance of raising funds so that more life-saving research can be conducted. Survival rates have improved dramatically over the years but even though a lot of headway has been made, there are still many unanswered questions.
Wood also has a brother who was stricken by cancer about 25 years ago. His prognosis wasn’t good but he survived after a hard-fought battle that involved what were considered at the time to be experimental treatments.
“There are no guarantees,” Wood said. “We need some more insurances.”
Long history of support
Curl for Cancer chairman Dean Smith, who has been a member of the Wolfville Curling Club for 32 years, said they’ve been holding the annual fundraising bonspiel for 35 years. Theirs was the first curling club in Canada to hold such a fundraiser.
It involves 16 teams and money is raised through entry fees and donations. Over the past five years, the club has raised close to $100,000 through the initiative and they raised just over $12,000 through the Feb. 16 event. All the money is donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.
“It has a special meaning to some families,” Smith said. “We just like getting together and doing this.”
He said an added benefit of the fundraiser is introducing new participants to the sport of curling. Some taking part have never curled before while some others only curl once a year at the fundraiser.
Co-chairwoman Marilyn Campbell Profitt said they are thankful to the local business community for its ongoing support of the silent auction, donating items year after year. A lot of the food was also donated.
Campbell Profitt said the Wolfville Curling Club is very friendly and welcoming and the members have always been supportive of Curl for Cancer. Within two or three days of the sign-up sheet being posted, it fills up. She pointed out that the lives of many club members have been touched by the disease.