Relay For Life Survivor Celebrates the Sea of Yellow

01 June 2018

Charlottetown, PE -

Patricia Doiron was only 34 years old when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1998.

The next thing she knew, she was in Halifax undergoing immediate treatment, able only to
return home on weekends to see her two daughters. “You just go into a kind of survival mode,”
she says, reflecting on her time of diagnosis and treatment. “After that is when it really hits
home and you realize, ‘Wow, that was tough.’”

On the day of her youngest daughter’s birthday in February 1999, Doiron got the call that she
was cancer free.

Just a few years after that momentous day, Doiron and her family registered a team in the
Canadian Cancer Society’s first Queens County Relay for Life in 2002. At this year’s Relay on
June 8, Doiron will once again participate by walking the victory lap, which kicks off the event
and allows the crowd to cheer on and celebrate cancer survivors decked out in bright yellow
t-shirts.

Doiron describes walking the victory lap with other survivors, in a “sea of yellow,” as her
favourite part of the night. “You do the whole lap and you take in all this experience,” she says.
“The emotion is building and you get there and it’s kind of like the point when you get to the end
of your treatment.”

“I get chills just thinking of it,” she says.

Doiron explains that she also participates in Relay for Life to support the Canadian Cancer
Society and the programs they have for those who have been diagnosed with cancer. For
example, as Doiron’s treatment was off-Island, she was eligible for financial support toward
travel costs incurred.

She also recalls accessing the organization for information when she was first diagnosed with
cancer, as well as using their support systems when loved ones were diagnosed, “I just always
kind of knew they were there,” she says.

Now in its 16 th year, Relay for Life has developed into a time to visualize how widespread the
disease has become. “I go there and I see people in the t-shirts I know and didn’t realize were
survivors,” Doiron says. “It allows you to see how far reaching it is, the disease itself, and the
support as well.”

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Doiron’s cancer diagnosis, and in 2019 she will
celebrate being 20 years cancer free. She is ready to spread the word of recovery and hope and
“to support those who are still fighting.”

“The Island is known for the way we support and encourage and lift each other up, so I think the
Relay for Life is a great depiction of that,” Doiron says. “It really captures what is the Island.”
Join other Islanders on June 8th at Confederation Landing Park from 6 p.m. to midnight, to
celebrate cancer survivors like Doiron, remember family and friends who have passed from
cancer, and support cancer research and support programs available from the Canadian
Cancer Society.

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For more information, contact:

Kathleen Murphy
Canadian Cancer Society Development Coordinator
kmurphy@pei.cancer.ca
902-566-4007

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.