Waddling to the finish line

Wally's Waddlers

Erin Fingler has been Relaying with her family for 7 years in memory of her dad, who passed away in 2005 of neuroendocrine cancer. Named after her father, Walt, and the team’s self-admitted not-so-nimble way of walking the track,

Wally’s Waddlers is always full of energy and is hard to miss when it comes time for Relay For Life in central Alberta.

The team truly gets in the spirit of things by wearing duck costumes, selling duck figurines and decking out their campsite at Relay with anything and everything duck related. In fact, their duck-themed antics have even earned them shout outs from local Alberta band The Stampeders, Red Deer media and MLAs in person, in print and on Twitter. 

Then again, who wouldn’t notice someone sitting inside a giant inflatable, motorized duck?

Embracing the Relay spirit

To Wally’s Waddlers, Relay For Life is an opportunity to remember their beloved father and brother as a family while genuinely enjoying each other’s company and raising money for cancer patients in Red Deer and across the country.

But that’s not the only thing Erin and her team love about Relay For Life. As hard as it may be to believe, their favourite thing about Relay For Life is the near-guarantee of Alberta’s temperamental weather acting up just in time for a 12-hour outdoor sleepover. 

“Every year it’s rained or snowed (or both) and it’s often extremely windy – and we love that,” says Erin. “It makes it just that much more difficult to keep going at Relay and we always make sure we go those 12 hours without sleep. A person’s cancer journey is much more difficult than that. My team knows it’s more realistic to be doing this in adverse circumstances.”

Come what may

Erin spent her first 3 years as Team Captain participating in the Relay For Life in Rocky Mountain House, a small and intimate Relay For Life event that was later amalgamated with the larger, more energetic event in Red Deer.

But Erin and her team never wavered, and they jumped on board to Relay with their fellow cancer fighters in Red Deer. They’ve been Relaying in the nearby community for 4 years now. 

“Even though it’s not in my home town, I get the support from my own community by hosting fundraising events there,” says Erin. “It’s worth it to bring everyone together.”

And Erin knows that, no matter where she Relays, the money she raises will be supporting the best cancer research in the country and caring support programs for people living in her community.

“Unfortunately we have had far too many people affected by cancer,” says Erin. “We want to do anything we can so that, one day, Relay For Life won’t be necessary anymore.”

Relay For Life is right around the corner in 14 communities across Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Contribute your energy to a community event near you by registering today at relayforlife.ca. If you have any questions about Relay For life, please contact us at events@cancer.ab.ca or 1-866-541-5383.

Back to the June 2016 issue of Relay Rap