By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: July 7, 2012
It’s a strange paradox of life: Adversity can bring clarity and strength, and illness can spring you into health and wellness.
Wendy Booth has lived that paradox, living and surviving cancer with the help of friends and family.
She has put it so far behind now she has difficulty recalling the precise details of the dreaded disease.
“I’m trying to move forward and not dwell on that part of my life,” she says, trying to recall the events that bring her to Squamish Relay for Life every year.
It was in 2006 that she had discovered a lump in her breast. Booth had a lingering suspicion about what it might be. The diagnosis proved her fears right. It was breast cancer.
“Even though you know what it is, you are not really expecting it,” she says, recalling the difficult time.
As her cancer spread to her lymph nodes, doctors told her about another, dreaded C-word: Chemotherapy.
“They said my cancer would be treated, but there were no guarantees,” she said.
What followed would be familiar to any cancer patient: Shock, anxiety, fear, and finally hope.
What carried her through was the support of her family, her husband Rob Booth, daughters Sarah and Connie Booth, and her son, Gordon Booth.
There were also people from her church, St. John Anglican Church that stood with her during the tough time.
“There were people who brought food over, looked after my kids, those who did my nails,” Booth says.
It’s this support that brings her every year to Squamish Relay for Life, an event that brings cancer survivors from all across the region.
Survivors wear yellow, a colour that binds them together, like their stories.
Relay for Life, Booth says, allows survivors to share their stories, and gives hope to those who are still fighting the cancer.
That is what drives the Relay for Life, said event organiser Cathy Greenlees.
Eight year of Relay for Life has raised more than a million dollars, with all the money going to research.
This year, more than 200 people took part in the event, with over 20 major sponsors, together raising $85, 141.
“Relay for Life brings our community together, and helps provide funding for cancer research,” she said.
Brackendale Babes was the top fundraising team, raising more than $14,000. In second was the Y2K’s, which garnered more than $5,500. Squamish Montessori School was third with more than $4,800.