The Miles to Go Cancer Support Group held their 9th Annual “Night of Caring and Sharing” Walk-A-Thon at the community track in Ohsweken on Saturday, August 29.
From 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. participants of all ages walked as long as they could; with tents, supper, breakfast, fireworks, movies and snacks provided. Each participant was required to fill a form of pledges with a minimum of $25, and all proceeds went to the Miles to Go Cancer Support Group. Along with events for the evening, participants released lanterns and balloons in unison, making the event that much more enjoyable.
Booths from Tsi Non:we Ionakeratstha, Six Nations Long-term Care/Home Community and Palliative Care, Enaahtig Healing Lodge and Learning Centre and the Brant County Hospital were set up alongside a loonie table and food tent for participants and visitors to visit. Coordinator Terry Hill said this year was “a great success.”
“This originally started in 1998 by Sheila Maracle. She came out to speak about ovarian cancer and cervical cancer, then Sandra Henhawk joined her later that year. She was a breast cancer (survivor), since then we’ve lost both of them,” said Hill. “Essentially, this is our ninth annual walk, next year is the big one. So we’ve already got ideas for that because we plan a year ahead,” she said with a smile.
“So, what we do is we help others to help themselves. Essentially we offer some financial assistance to (members with cancer), whether they need to get back and forth between appointments, or sometimes your appointment you thought was going to be two hours, turns into six and you might not have brought money and need something to eat,” she said.
She explained that walkers can do a victory lap to honour their journey, and a memory lap to honour those lost to cancer. Among the walkers honouring those that were lost to cancer was Billie Styres.
“My mom, Billie Styres is a double amputee and she wanted to come and try and do a lap for my brother Mel, he passed away a couple weeks ago,” said Toni Martin, Styres’s daughter. “She managed to do it, she had to rest for a minute but she was good. We wanted to all get together and do a lap in memory of him,” said Martin.
She explained that the t-shirts they wore were “done last minute,” but were great in memory of her brother nonetheless.
“I just thought I was going to start with Miles to Go just to volunteer, like three years ago or something like that, because Frankie plays music for them. So we were coming, and I started going to meetings and doing different stuff and doing different things. I never dreamed that one of my family was going to be needing this group. It’s been so helpful, just need to get the word out to help more people,” she said.
Honoured Cancer Survivors: Eva Tripp, Evelyne Holyhome, Steph Restoule, Shelby White, Wray Maracle, “Punkie,” Mel Styres, Frank Maracle, Marsha Bomberry, Carole Hill, Renee Hess, Andrea Hill, Jack and Theda MacDonald, Mykle Sault, Tracy Laforme, Roseane and Vic Wyman, Jim Porter, Jackie White and Neil Smith.