Relayer brings brightness to Vegreville

Ashley Browning and her Relay For Life team

Every April, Relayer Ashley Browning buys her daffodil pin and a fresh, vibrant bunch of daffodils to brighten up her home and support people living with cancer. The tradition started when she lived in Manitoba but she quickly noticed that the yellow pins and flowers weren’t sold in her new home of Vegreville, AB. 

So she decided to bring them there herself.

Rallying for Daffodil Month

April is Daffodil Month, a time when Canadians from coast to coast unite in the fight for life and support those living with cancer. The daffodil is a symbol of hope for cancer patients, their families and caregivers – it shows them they are not alone.

And that message resonates deeply with Ashley. A close personal loss led her to get more involved with the Canadian Cancer Society by entering a team for Relay For Life in Vegreville. Her mother was only 47 years old when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. She battled cancer for a year before passing away of the disease. 

“I just want to support the Canadian Cancer Society because my mom was very affected, so I’ve always tried my best to support the cause in whatever way I can,” says Ashley. “Now that I know more about what the daffodil symbolizes, it means even more to me.

“You need hope to get through. Whether it’s you or your family that is supporting you, there has to be hope there.”

Ashley has secured several local pin sales locations – businesses at which the people of Vegreville can pick up a daffodil pin – and will also be sharing the pins with the community by having them available at her April real estate open houses. In early April, she and several volunteers sold fresh daffodil flowers at the Vegreville Co-op.

Bring brightness to your community

Volunteers like Ashley are at the heart of Daffodil Month, and hundreds of them bring the campaign to life in dozens of communities in Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

You can bring Daffodil Month to life in your community through your Relay For Life fundraising in April. When you plan a bake sale or other community event, consider selling yellow daffodil pins and tying in a yellow theme for your fundraiser. You will not only raise money for your Relay team, but you will also show cancer patients, their families and caregivers in your community they are not alone in the fight for life.

Now that the bulk of the work for the Daffodil Campaign is behind her, Ashley is looking forward to Relay For Life. As a first-time committee volunteer, she is excited to see the event from a new perspective and watch everything come to life.

“The Survivor Lap is really inspiring – it was one of the highlights for me last year,” says Ashley. “The luminaries are also really meaningful. They’re beautiful and it helps to know you’re not alone in what you have gone through with cancer.”

Ashley says some things to look forward to at the upcoming Relay in Vegreville include Zumba, local musicians and professional hairstylists at the ready with razors to shave the heads of willing participants.

Buy and wear your daffodil pin to show people living with cancer in your community they are not alone in the fight for life. You can also host a Daffodil Month fundraiser to share the Society’s symbol of hope and raise money for your Relay For Life team. Be sure to share how you’re getting involved with Daffodil Month on social media using the #JoinTheFight hashtag.

Back to the April 2016 issue of Relay Rap