The Langley Walmart’s north entrance was a very busy place Saturday. Langley Township firefighters handed out daffodils and daffodil pins in exchange for donations to the Canadian Cancer Society while at the same time

Firefighter pays tribute to big sister through daffodils

Walmart welcomed Langley Township firefighters, who supported those living with cancer.

Araj Virk spent part of his Saturday at the north entrance of Langley’s Walmart, standing with his firefighting brethren.

Daffodils and daffodil pins in hand, they joined the battle against cancer.

On behalf of the Township of Langley Firefighters Charitable Society, local firefighters, including Araj, distributed daffodils and daffodil pins in exchange for donations to the Canadian Cancer Society.

The “Join the Fight” fundraiser took place last Saturday and Sunday (April 2 and 3) at the Walmart in Willoughby.

Each firefighter on shift late Saturday morning has had someone close to them affected by cancer – be it an uncle, a grandparent, or in Araj’s case, his older sister Jas Chohan.

Mom to nine-year-old Alisha and one-month-old Aliya, Jas is one of the lucky ones. That’s because the 39-year-old has overcome thyroid cancer – twice.

Araj and the rest of his very close family, which includes a middle brother, Aman, are hoping that the cancer stays away for good.

While four years separate them, Jas is as much like a mom to Araj as she is a big sister.

His sister’s initial diagnosis “was pretty rough,” Araj recalled.

“After she gave birth to her [first] daughter, when her daughter was about a year old, she found out she had cancer,” Araj shared. “She was fighting it for a few years, and beat it. But then it came back.”

Three-and-a-half years after Jas’s first cancer battle which included chemotherapy and radiation, came another scare.

“There were traces of cancer, still, in her thyroid,” Araj said.

Doctors removed Jas’s thyroid in their efforts to eradicate the cancer completely.

“Now she’s doing better,” Araj said. “But she has to take medication for the rest of her life.”

Coming from a relatively small family, having Jas battle cancer “hit pretty hard,” Araj said: “It hit me like a ton of bricks. You never expect it to happen to one of your siblings.”

“The reason it hit so hard is, I lost my uncle, my mom’s brother, to cancer,” Araj continued. “It runs in the family. There’s a few individuals who have battled cancer] or lost their lives.”

Araj – a paid on-call firefighter and a full-time aircraft structural engineer – has been actively involved in various fundraisers in support of cancer research and patients.

“I want to make a difference,” he said.

Symbol of strength

April is Daffodil Month, the Canadian Cancer Society’s national fundraising campaign for the fight against cancer.

Money raised this month helps people living with cancer and their families. Donations fund life-saving research and information and support services.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, the daffodil “is a symbol of strength and courage in the fight against cancer.”

Across the country, volunteers are selling bright yellow daffodil pins, as well as fresh daffodils.

Buying a daffodil pin and wearing it in April is a way of showing support for Canadians living with cancer.

To buy a daffodil online, or to donate to the Canadian Cancer Society, visit cancer.ca/.

 

Just Posted

Giant-Hawk name swap for Major Midget League hockey teams

League leaders last year, Valley West squad starts season on the road this weekend

LETTER: Heartwarming honesty so very much appreciated

A Langley woman who attended the RCMP Musical Ride hopes a kind man reads her letter of thanks.

Suspected spill kills hundreds of crayfish, coho in Langley river

A fish kill in the Nicomekl has a biologist concerned for the health of the local ecosystem.

UPDATED: Murrayville woman runs for mayor in Langley Township

Anna Remenik has been a fixture at local council meetings in recent years.

Rams harvest sweet victory in win over Huskers

The Chilliwack team found itself pushed back again and again.

64 cats seized from ‘bad situation’ now in BC SPCA care

The surrender is part of an ongoing animal cruelty investigation with BC SPCA Special Constable

B.C. hockey product eyes shot at Olympic spot with China

Fletcher is one of 24 who travelled to Shenzhen, China for the first official Olympic dev camp.

Are you feeling lazy? That’s OK – it’s just science

UBC study shows that humans are hardwired to prefer being sloth-like

LETTER: Who do we blame for the tragedy of Marrisa Shen’s death?

The B.C. girl was killed in a Burnaby park last July

Competition tribunal to hear B.C.-based case on airline food starting in October

The competition commissioner argued Vancouver airport authority had exploited its market position

Seek compromise with U.S. on cannabis at border, lawyers urge Ottawa

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency sent tremors through Canada’s burgeoning cannabis sector

Trudeau says Canada wants to see ‘movement’ before signing revised NAFTA deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is back in Washington in search of a way to bridge divide

Young people need us to act on climate change, McKenna tells G7 ministers

Catherine McKenna led off the three-day Halifax gathering Wednesday

5 to start your day

B.C. parents sue after toddler dies in unlicensed daycare, vehicle explodes in Pitt Meadows and more

Most Read