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Daffodil pins spread across town

Ottawa resident, Paul Newcombe, remembers December 18, 2009 like it was yesterday. That is the day his wife Coleen was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 52. The diagnosis was absolutely devastating and started them both down a long road of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

“I had no choice but to be there for my wife, but I wouldn’t have chosen to be anywhere else except by her side, every step of the way,” said Paul. It wasn’t until April 2011 that they received the good news that Coleen was cancer-free.

During one of his wife’s medical appointments that April, Paul was sitting in the waiting room at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre when he saw a box of daffodil pins that had been placed on the counter by the Canadian Cancer Society. Wanting to know more, Paul called the Society as soon as he returned home.

After learning the daffodil pins were available for a donation and represented a symbol of hope and of fighting back against cancer, Paul asked if he could take 12 boxes of pins to distribute among local businesses around Ottawa. That same day, he not only picked up 12 boxes of pins and placed them in one hour, but he also went back to pick up twelve more boxes. During those first two days of Paul becoming a Canadian Cancer Society volunteer, he placed approximately 40-50 boxes of daffodil pins.

The following year, Paul and his wife recruited eight volunteers, consisting of friends and business associates, and together they distributed 400 boxes of daffodil pins across Ottawa.

“Volunteering during Daffodil Month is an incredibly rewarding experience, whether you have been touched by cancer or not,” said Paul. “It brings out the best in people and creates a great sense of community, knowing we can all fight back against cancer together.”

Daffodil Month, held every April, is a national fundraising campaign of the Canadian Cancer Society. During the month, Society volunteers are involved with numerous activities to raise vital funds for the fight against cancer. Funds raised throughout the month help the Society prevent cancer, fund research to outsmart cancer, empower, inform and support those living with cancer, and advocate for public policies to improve the health of Canadians.

For 2013, Paul has recruited even more volunteers and they have already put together a plan to distribute the daffodil pin boxes across the city.

“Through this experience, I have gained a great appreciation for what the Canadian Cancer Society does - their work, the money they raise and the research they fund - It is just truly wonderful what they do,” said Paul.

Businesses across Ontario will be joining the fight against cancer this April. Some companies are purchasing daffodil pins for their employees to wear while others are making the pin available to their customers by having daffodil pin boxes on-site. Show your employees and customers that you support Canadians living with cancer by getting a pin box for your business.

This April, donate to the Canadian Cancer Society and wear a daffodil pin throughout the month to show your support for people living with cancer. Visit to make a donation or find the nearest daffodil pin box location.

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