It was a damp evening for the Langley Relay for Life this year.
Participants in the annual Canadian Cancer Society fundraiser still turned out to march around the track and to turn over donations that will go towards cancer research and patient support.
This year’s top fundraiser is expected to be Kari Medos, who beat last year’s total of more than $6,100 by quite a bit. Medos passed $10,000 in total this year thanks to some last minute donations.
The longtime member of the Gallery team wasn’t put off by the rain.
“We’re here,” Medos said. “Cancer doesn’t take a break and neither do we.”
“Our smiles are our umbrellas,” added Gallery team member Kelly Secret.
Verbeek told the crowd about her family’s recent experience with cancer. Her mother survived and is recovering after the removal of a brain tumour, and her stepfather is about to go back for his third cancer surgery.
Langley City Mayor Ted Schaffer told the crowd he is about to go in to the hospital for his own surgery soon, and Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese’s wife Debbie is currently recovering from recent cancer treatment.
Langley-Aldergrove MP Mark Warawa also wore a yellow shirt marking him as a cancer survivor.
More than 200 participants took to the track just after 10 p.m. for the luminaries ceremony. The track was ringed with luminaries – paper bags lit from within by candles – many dedicated to the memory of friends and family of those taking part in the Relay.
Volunteer chair Bev Dornan spoke of those who have lost their lives to cancer.
“Each flickering light reminds us just how fragile life really is,” Dornan said.
The entire 2018 Langley Relay for Life is expected to have raised more than $100,000.