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HOPE…Buy a bunch of it!

17 March 2014

Manitoba -

Tomorrow will be the first day of spring and Glenn Smith will be spreading hope by donating his time to the Canadian Cancer Society’s annual Daffodil Days campaign.

It’s a far cry from where the Winnipeg man was in 2011. It was just two days before Christmas when doctors told Glenn that he had lung cancer – one of the deadliest forms of the disease.   However, with the support of family, expert care and some assistance from new treatments, he got through it. Cancer took one of his lungs but Glenn has beat the odds and is cancer-free.

“I am living proof of the benefits of research,” says Glenn.  “If it wasn’t for all the advances made for better equipment and treatments, I may not be here today. 

“It’s important that we raise as much money as possible for research, and also support programs like the Cancer Society’s Transportation Service, which made getting to and from appointments one less thing to worry about for me.” 

Glenn and hundreds of other dedicated volunteers will be fanning out across the province this week to sell 35,000 bunches of live daffodils and raise money for the fight against cancer – a disease that will strike 6,400 Manitobans this year alone.  The daffodil is the Canadian Cancer Society’s symbol of hope, and the arrival of the flowers is considered by many to be the first sign of spring.

From March 17 to 23, Cancer Society volunteers will be selling daffodils for $7 a bunch in major malls, clinics, hospitals, retirement residences, and Walmart locations throughout Manitoba.

The Cancer Society has been trusted to lead the fight against cancer for over 75 years now.  In that time, the national charity has invested over $1.2 billion to cancer-fighting research. And it’s making a difference. In the 1940s, only 25% of Canadians survived a cancer diagnosis. Today, the survival rate is 63%.

Proceeds of the daffodil sales are used to fight back against cancer by funding life-saving cancer research and community services for people living with cancer and their families.  It also allows the Cancer Society to work for change in the health care system so it is more responsive to the needs of cancer patients.

“To some, the daffodil is just a flower,” says Heidi Struck, Daffodil Days campaign manager at the Canadian Cancer Society, “but to the Cancer Society and our supporters, it is a symbol of hope; of strength and of courage.  It says we will not give up, we will fight back, we will beat cancer.  When you buy daffodils or make a donation for a daffodil pin, you’re truly making a positive impact on the lives of people living in your community.”              

In addition to the live daffodil sales March 17-23, the Society is again encouraging all Manitobans to wear a daffodil pin throughout Daffodil Month (April).  The pins are worn to show people facing cancer that they are not alone, and to remember loved ones lost to cancer.  The pins are available everywhere the live flowers are sold and will be available at locations across Manitoba this April, including all Canad Inns, Caisse Financial, and Super Thrifty locations.

“Through it all I had some amazing support, particularly from my wife who never left my side.  I want to get as many of these flowers out there, so others in the cancer fight out there know that they too have support.”             

Glenn Smith and Canadian Cancer Society staff ware available for interviews by request.

Daffodil Days is one of the Canadian Cancer Society’s longest running fundraising events, dating back to 1954 when daffodils were used to decorate tables at a fundraising tea held by Lady Eaton at the Eaton’s store in downtown Toronto.

For more information, please contact:

Jason Permanand

Communications Manager

Canadian Cancer Society

Manitoba

Phone: 204-990-4310