Cancer survivor Owen Dumansky

Owen’s Warriors help Langley United kick cancer

A three-year-old cancer survivor and his family played a big role in a fundraising soccer marathon.

Owen Dumansky tirelessly chased an elusive soccer ball around Willoughby Community Park’s turf soccer field Saturday afternoon.

Seeing Owen, adorned with shades, playing ‘The Beautiful Game’ was a beautiful sight for his mom Joanne MacNeil.

Three-year-old Owen is a brain cancer survivor, and he along with his family took part in Langley United Soccer Association’s third annual Kicking Cancer fundraiser.

Co-organized by LUSA technical director Mark Parker along with Shann Lovegrove and Mike Stumph, Kicking Cancer was a marathon of pickup soccer games that started at noon Saturday, June 25 at Willoughby Community Park and continued non-stop for 18 hours. The all-ages soccer relays included players of all ages of abilities, from kids as young as four years old up to grandparents.

Kicking Cancer had one-hour time slots running throughout the afternoon, evening and overnight before finishing at dawn (6 a.m.) on Sunday, June 26.

The fundraiser has already met its goal of raising $10,000 for the Canadian Cancer Foundation, benefiting leading-edge research at the BC Cancer Agency aimed at finding a cure for pediatric cancers.

All three co-organizers have known someone who has battled the disease. “Loads of family, father-in-law, close cousins…,” Parker said.

Parker said rougly four years ago, the LUSA board decided to do something to give back to the community.

Kicking Cancer was born.

“One of the areas where we thought the need would be was pediatric cancers,” he added. “The event really is around the funds going to pediatric research, but it was a group effort by our board.”

Stumph said with the youth involvement in LUSA, pediatric cancer is “a great fit.”

“To come watch these kids get together, come out for a great cause, it’s incredible to see,” Stumph said.

Owen’s Warriors, inspired by Owen, helped the cause.

In January 2014, Owen was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was a year-and-a-half old at the time of his diagnosis.

He underwent surgery the same month of his diagnosis and again in October of that year. This was followed by six weeks of proton radiation therapy in Seattle.

“Ever since then he’s followed up with MRIs at [BC] Children’s [Hospital] every four months,” Mom explained.

Owen celebrates his fourth birthday in August and Joanne said her young son understands that Owen’s Warriors is a soccer team that his big brother Jacob, seven, created for him.

“So we’re trying to involve Jacob more,” Joanne said. “He came up with the name Owen’s Warriors, he had the goal of, let’s raise the most money out of all the teams, and so it’s just showing him that he can help, too, because he was affected by it, as well.”

Joanne said Kicking Cancer is “important to me as a mom,” to not only see the support for her family but also to raise money for research and treatments in the battle against childhood cancer.

Watching Owen playing soccer is “amazing because it could have been the other way,” Joanne said.

“He’s doing awesome and by looking at him, you would have never known that this [his cancer] had happened,” Joanne said. “It’s very heartwarming. It’s awesome.”

Donations to Kicking Cancer can still be made online through


Just Posted

Langley Cruise-In makes some changes for second year in Aldergrove

The annual car show will adjust its site and brings in a new “guest star.”

Housing vote a no-go in Langley until autumn

There is no vote planned on the Langley supportive housing project.

VIDEO: Langley couple reunite with Tugger three years after his disappearance

A purebred Pomeranian is back with his parents, likely after years in a puppy mill.

Educational videos for rodeo athletes address concussions, mental health

Ty Pozzobon Foundation, Canadian Pro Sports Medicine Team produce series

Lower Mainland cools down as heat wave lifts

Environment Canada predicts temperatures in the mid to low 20s

Stolen sunshade puts damper on Lower Mainland woman’s pet-relief effort

Broken umbrella taken from White Rock lawn ‘within 10 minutes’

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Teen killed by train remembered for his love

Friends and family share stories of young Crescent Beach train victim

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

Most Read