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Kentville Relay For Life raises $56,000 for Canadian Cancer Society


KENTVILLE - Cancer survivor Carol Boylan-Hartling is determined to help others battling the merciless disease.

As the ambassador for the Kentville Relay For Life hosted at Memorial Park June 17, Boylan-Hartling shared an emotional speech about how a breast cancer diagnosis in December 2015 threatened to change everything.

“After my surgery in December, I was overwhelmed by the support from my family, friends and community,” she said, adding that the day she returned home from the hospital the principal of Berwick and District School hand delivered a homemade card signed by the students.

Boylan-Hartling continued to work as the recreation co-ordinator for the Town of Berwick throughout her chemotherapy treatments, and joked that she took a “radiation vacation” when it was imperative to take time off.

“For two weeks of that I stayed at The Lodge that Gives – and I just can’t say enough about it,” she said, referring to the free accommodations the Canadian Cancer Society makes available to patients living more than 50 km from the treatment centre in Halifax.

“I was determined to give back when I left the lodge, and I will continue to do that.”

Boylan-Hartling finds inspiration to keep fighting in the memories made with dear friends she’s lost to the disease.

“I have survivors’ guilt, like I’m sure lots of you do,” she said.

“I wonder why I have spared. I’ve come to the conclusion that I still have lots to do, lots of people to help.”

She vowed to continue raising money in support of research and programs that help patients and their families.

“I could not have possibly got through this without the support of my amazing husband, Dale. He never missed an appointment, he took care of me and helped me keep a positive attitude,” she said.

“Let’s have fun tonight, make some memories, continue our fight and come back here next year stronger than ever.”

The 16 teams relaying in Kentville raised a combined total of $56,112.50 as of June 19.

“Tonight you are here because you have a common goal. Tonight, you will walk, you’ll run, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll share,” said Kentville Mayor Sandra Snow in the opening remarks.

“Each of you is a warrior. You are here in an effort to defeat this hateful disease, which shows no mercy.”

Kings North MLA John Lohr spoke of how cancer rocked his family when they lost his father to the disease in December 2014.

“I thought he was indestructible. There’s a few of you out there who knew him and you might have thought the same thing,” said Lohr, who commended relay participants for doing their part to support a crucial cause.

“There’s amazing treatments now for many, many types of cancer and this effort to raise money is to continue to improve those treatments so more people can be saved.”

 

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