Brandon cancer survivor wins International Hero of Hope Award

14 March 2014

Brandon, Manitoba -

Seventy-year-old Anne Brolund has been recognized for her contributions to Canadian Cancer Society’s Brandon Relay For Life and her year-round volunteer efforts to cancer survivors in the WestMan region and beyond. The Hero of Hope Award is given to a cancer survivor who exhibits exemplary behaviour and inspires hope, courage and determination in the fight to eliminate cancer.

“Relay For Life is about celebrating, remembering and fighting back,” says Jill Somers, Manager, Relay For Life, Canadian Cancer Society.  “Anne is a shining example of how someone can embody all these aspects of the cancer fight, not only into their volunteer efforts but also into the way they contribute to their community.”

“We are very proud that a Manitoban has been recognised as a role model for others around the world because of her efforts to fight cancer.”

Anne’s accomplishment will be recognized this Sunday at Boston Pizza at the Relay For Life kick off, which is open to the public.  Kick off attendees can learn more about Relay For Life, register teams, or win prizes.  The actual Relay event takes place June 14 at the Sportsplex. 

The Cancer Society also kicks off their annual Daffodil Days campaign this week, selling fresh-cut daffodils – a symbol of hope - March 17-23 in Brandon.  For a list of flower sale locations visit www.cancer.ca.

Anne has helped organize Brandon’s Relay For Life for five years and for the past 10 years she has volunteered with the Cancer Society’s Peer Support program.  The program matches someone newly diagnosed with cancer with someone who has had a similar cancer experience, in order to help them cope better.

First diagnosed with Ovarian cancer 17 years ago, Anne has been cancer free for 12 years and helping other cancer survivors cope with their own personal struggles as they go through their cancer journey.

“I was quite surprised when I was told I was receiving this award, and very humbled,’’ she said. “I was speechless when they phoned and it’s not very often that happens.”

Anne also set up a program called Survivors 3-6-5 which is now going into its second year. Survivors 3-6-5 provides support by keeping survivors in contact with one another and hosting get-togethers throughout the year including potlucks, games nights, and other fundraisers. On April 5, 2014 Survivors 3-6-5 will host murder-mystery night.

Brandon Relay For Life also recently won a Golden Luminary award for highest survivor participation in any Manitoba Relay - which goes to show how active the city’s cancer survivor community is.

Fundraisers like the Relay For Life are a huge part of what allows the Canadian Cancer Society to continue to lead the fight against ALL cancers in Manitoba, through life-saving research and programs and services to support those on a cancer journey.

Anne says she enjoys speaking with new survivors:  “I have found that when they hear the amount of years I have survived, there is quite often a silence, some ask again how long? Then I can hear the change in their voice. There is a tone of hope, and it becomes quite real to them that cancer can be beaten. A big part for survivors is being able to talk about their journey; this is part of the healing process.”

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Anne Brolund or Canadian Cancer Society Staff, please contact Jason Permanand using the contact information below.

About the Canadian Cancer Society

For 75 years the Canadian Cancer Society has been with Canadians in the fight for life. We have been relentless in our commitment to prevent cancer, fund research and support Canadians touched by cancer. From this foundation, we will work with Canadians to change cancer forever so fewer Canadians are diagnosed with the disease and more survive. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website at cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

Jason Permanand

Communications Manager

Canadian Cancer Society

Manitoba

Phone: 204-990-4310