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Remembering through Relay

27 May 2019

Linda Wong’s Relay For Life teamHaving experienced cancer’s impact following the diagnosis, recurrence and death of three of her sisters, Linda Wong honours their memory and gives back by participating in Relay For Life every year.

“Fundraising and volunteering makes me feel closer to my sisters somehow. Even though they aren’t physically here, their spirits still are,” says Linda. “They’ve made me a stronger person. If I’m here, and there’s something that I can do to help, I’m going to do it.”

Linda’s family’s cancer journey began in 1990, when Rita, Linda’s sister, was diagnosed with cervical cancer. At the time of her diagnosis, Rita worked in fundraising at the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and encouraged her family get involved and make a difference in the lives of people affected by cancer.

In 2003, Linda’s sister, Doris, who had been in remission following a nasopharyngeal cancer diagnosis, learned that her cancer had returned. Sadly, Doris died, and in honour of Doris, Linda established the family’s first Relay For Life team, Team DW, in 2005 which raised $3,500.

After Doris’s death, Rita’s cancer returned and she died in 2009. Shortly thereafter, sister Shirley was diagnosed with an aggressive form of nasopharyngeal cancer, like Doris, and she died a year and a half later.

Linda has seen first-hand just how important the impact of fundraising dollars on cancer research and treatment options can be.

“There is actual progress that’s being made in treatment and survival rates,” says Linda. “Doris and Shirley were diagnosed with the same type of nasopharyngeal cancer nearly 17 years apart and our family saw how the advances in treatment options that were available to Shirley were much better than what was available to Doris.”

Together with the support of her family and friends, Linda continued to grow her Relay For Life presence from one team to seven teams who collectively have raised more than $300,000.

You can help make a difference for people living with cancer. Join the Relay event nearest you or donate to Relay online at relayforlife.ca