Spring cleaning for cancer

11 March 2019

lifesaving research
Like many Canadians, Jason Stubbe has a personal connection to cancer.

After his father died from brain cancer in 2009, Jason’s family and friends were inspired to keep his memory alive by starting a team at the Relay for Life Woodstock, where they raised $3,000. The team then decided that they wanted to do even more for the cancer cause by starting their own fundraising event. In 2010, the Spring Yard Cleanup for Cancer was born.

Starting out with 17 volunteers and raising $7,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) in its first year, the event has since grown to include almost 100 volunteers, who get together for one day each Spring in Norwich, Ontario. The volunteers perform yard work throughout the community – sweeping and rolling lawns, trimming hedges, mulching flowerbeds, encouraging sponsors, and being a force-for-life in every yard they clean up.

Money raised is helping CCS fund Canada’s best cancer research and clinical trials across the country, including researcher Dr Mick Bhatia at McMaster University. Thanks to a CCS Impact Grant funded in large part by the Spring Yard Cleanup for Cancer, Dr Bhatia discovered a new leukemia approach that can be added to existing treatments or even replace others and could lead to a whole new way of treating leukemia.

“This event has become more and more rewarding to us as we see the impact it has. We had the chance to visit Dr Bhatia’s lab last year to see firsthand the advances in research,” says Jason. “It was great knowing it could have real-world implications through clinical trials. It inspired us to keep making a difference with our event.”

With the help of sponsors, donors, and volunteers, over $263,011.35 was raised in 2018, bringing their 9-year total to over $700,000. This year, the group hopes to raise $300,000 to bring their total to over $1 million.

This year, the 10th annual Spring Yard Cleanup for Cancer will take place on April 27, 2019. Visit their Facebook and Instagram pages to learn more about how this group is improving the lives of Canadians affected by cancer.